World's most powerful narrow-gauge AC drive diesel locomotives deployed in Sierra Leone

World's most powerful narrow-gauge AC drive diesel locomotives deployed in Sierra Leone
© CRRC

These locomotives were designed to support the New Tonkoliri Iron Mine, the largest single magnetite mine globally.


Sierra Leone has introduced the world's most powerful narrow-gauge AC drive diesel locomotives, which commenced operations on May 10 in the Tonkolili region. The event was attended by President Biao, who witnessed the launch of these locomotives.

© CRRC
© CRRC

Manufactured by CRRC Ziyang, a subsidiary of CRRC Corporation Limited, these locomotives represent a leap in technology and design for narrow-gauge railways in Africa. They are the first of their kind to feature a middle corridor arrangement and independent ventilation technology, which optimizes the internal space layout and improves operational and maintenance processes.

© CRRC
© CRRC

Equipped with advanced AC transmission technology and a 3,680-kW medium-speed diesel engine, these locomotives can handle heavy-duty traction of up to 10,000 tons in double traction. The integration of multi-system technology aims to increase the safety and reliability of the locomotives, contributing to smoother and more efficient railway operations.

The project, from contract signing to the final delivery of the locomotives, was completed in under three months by CRRC Ziyang - a new record for the rapid development of diesel locomotives.

© CRRC
© CRRC

The deployment of these locomotives is expected to significantly improve the efficiency of ore transportation from the Tonkolili mine, which has estimated reserves of 12.8 billion tonnes of ore grading 64% iron metal. This development is seen as a critical step in improving the operational capacity of Sierra Leone's railway network.

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