The biggest Czech producer of fertilizers, Lovochemie in Lovosice, supplemented its fleet of shunting locomotives with Class 741.7 produced by CZ LOKO. It is a fully modernized Class 740 engine from the locomotive fleet of Lovochemie, which, unlike its predecessor, provides site operators with a sharp reduction of operation and maintenance costs, mainly due to its high operational reliability and prolonged service cycles.
“It is a type of shunting locomotive mainly designed for heavy shunting. Locomotives of this class are operated by many industrial operators not only in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy, but also in Turkey and other countries. We are very pleased that these two vehicles were ordered also by Lovochemie in the Czech Republic,” says Jaroslav Plhák, Sales and Marketing Director of CZ LOKO.
According to Petr Cingr, General Manager of Lovochemie, the company opted for this solution because of a long-term increase of transportation and the outdated Class 740 locomotives simply could not keep up. The main reasons are their low reliability, expensive operation and maintenance, unavailability of spare parts and also insufficient tractive power.
On the plant siding, Lovochemie transports 1.2 million tons of raw materials and goods a year and this number is expected to increase to 1.4 million tons next year. “For comparison, in 2007 it was 600 thousand tons. Enhancing the reliability of our locomotive fleet is therefore a must,” said Miloslav Spěváček, Commercial Manager of Lovochemie, commenting on the increasing workload of locomotives. The siding itself measures 30,627 metres and in two shifts it is always used by two locomotives in continuous operation. On these very premises, CZ LOKO has had a new service centre for northern Bohemia for the past three years.
The Class 741 four-axle diesel locomotives with a track gauge of 1,435 mm are primarily designed for shunting service. They are equipped with the MSV elektronika digital control system with online locomotive diagnostics and monitoring, CAT 3508C diesel engine with a power of 1,000 kW, Siemens alternator and AC/DC power transfer. Thanks to their lowered hoods, the locomotives with an axle load of 18 tons have a significantly improved view from the driver’s turret cab, which is air-conditioned and complies with the current standards. In addition, the multi-control operation system allows connection of two or more CZ LOKO locomotives for towing very heavy trains in challenging terrain without the need for additional personnel.
Class 741.7 therefore offers site operators a virtually new vehicle. From the original Class 740, the locomotive basically only keeps the modified main frame and bogie frames. All other parts and units are new and most of them come from Czech and Slovak subcontractors.