KLW 2250 - Our First Green Locomotive

The KLW 2250 began life as an EMD GP38 that was built in June of 1966 for the Norfolk Southern Railroad (original) as unit #2002. In 1974 it was acquired by the Southern Railroad and rebuilt as CRN 2881. CRN stands for Carolina Northwestern which was a subsidiary of Southern. When the Southern Railroad became the Norfolk Southern the engine was repainted and put into service as CRN 2881. The 2881 would later be acquired by the Gulf & Ohio Railroad from the NS and served on the Wiregrass Central Railroad in Enterprise, Alabama. The unit was later retired and shipped to KLW to be repowered as a low emissions/high efficiency single engine locomotive. The remanufacturing process was completed in November of 2011 and the locomotive was renumbered as the KLWX 2250. Today, the unit is used as a demonstrator locomotive to show potential customers what the KLW product line is capable of.

 
KLW 2250 testing in Fort Worth, Texas in August of 2013.

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Testing, Testing, and More Testing

As a demonstrator unit, the KLW 2250 is showing railroads of all sizes what green KLW locomotives are capable of. Since its completion, the KLW 2250 has been tested by Class-I railroads, industrial operations, and short line railroads. With many successful tests under its belt, the KLW 2250 has helped KLW gain acceptance in the rail industry.

In order to demonstrate to the railroad industry the performance capabilities of KLW repowers, the 2250 was sent to two Class-I railroads for tractive effort, acceleration, and shock vibration tests. In December of 2012, KLW sent the 2250 to the first Class-I railroad for a series of tractive effort tests with impressive results. On dry rail, the KLW 2250 was able to pull 1,894 tons at an average speed of 9.5 mph up a 1.38% grade over a distance of 2.75 miles. On wet rail, the KLW 2250 pulled 1,617 tons at an average speed of 10.6 mph on the same grade over the same distance. Lastly, the starting tractive effort for the 2250 was 77,600 lbf which equates to 29.4% adhesion, grade-corrected. Many of the operators were expecting the 2250 to have problems making the grade, since most new green locomotives have some bugs to sort out in the beginning,  but the 2250 didn't break down or stop once which was surprised them.

In August of 2013, the KLW 2250 visited the second Class-I railroad for acceleration and shock vibration tests. The railroad ran the 2250 with a 3GS Genset and a GP39-2 for nearly a month to see how our locomotive compared to two of the locomotives they use on a daily basis. In one of the tests, each locomotive was hooked up to a consist that weighed approximately 4,000 tons to see how fast the locomotive could get the consist to 10 mph. The locomotives were given four opportunities to pull the freight so that an average time could be generated. The 2250 was the fastest of the three locomotives with an average time of 1 minute and 9 seconds. The GP39-2 was the second fastest with an average time of 1 minute and 33 seconds. The 3GS Genset could only make three runs due to technical issues, and out of those three it only worked properly once, which resulted in a time of 2 minutes and 25 seconds. The time was so bad the Class-I decided not to include it in the final results. The 2250 also had accelerometer sensors installed onto the gearbox and engine to see how well it could handle the rigors of yard work and high impact couplings. The 2250 was used in the yard for over two weeks and showed impressive test results.

After testing on the Class-I railroad, the KLW 2250 was sent to a chemical plant in the state of Louisiana and was used 24-7 to pull dozens of fully loaded tank cars around a tight curve. The locomotive was used around the clock and not only provided superior pulling power to the MP15s currently in use at the plant, but was also consuming less fuel than the switchers even though the 2250 has over 700 more horsepower than the MP15. 

In early 2014, the 2250 made its way down to Florida where it was tested on a third Class-I railroad. The railroad used the 2250 for some yard and road-switching service and was pleased with the overall performance of the 2250. In one such instance, the 2250 was able to pull over 5,600 tons of freight up a 1%-1.5% grade by itself with minimal wheel slip (sand was only used for a split second). According to one of the operators, if they were using their current equipment that would not have been possible with just one locomotive. 

Each test provided validation for KLW's design and claims that our products are reliable, provide great tractive effort, consume less fuel, all while providing some of the cleanest emissions seen in the railroad industry. KLW 2250 is still testing across North America and continues to show operators that single-engine green locomotives that can perform beyond expectations are now a reality.