This article describes the lightweight Non-Electric Locomotive (NEL), and its wider public transport context. Its prototype is due to be completed in Spring 2000. It is being developed jointly by the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Bombardier Transportation. IT has top speed 240kph and a safe design, is powered by a 5000hp gas turbine, and is expected to lead an incremental approach to developing high-speed inter-city services on non-electrified routes. The prototype is expected to start a demonstration tour around the USA before the end of 2000. On Amtrak's wholly owned Northeast Corridor, an incremental approach could be adopted, moving from 160kph to 177kph, 200kph, and now 240kph top speeds. It is being recognised increasingly that an incremental approach is the most practical and cost-effective way to improve passenger services in other parts of the USA. The FRA was set up to help US states meet this challenge, and aims to: (1) develop, demonstrate, and validate cost-effective high-speed passenger rail technology able to operate on existing infrastructure; (2) reduce costs of upgrading to high-speed rail; and (3) make proven technologies available to the states for implementing high-speed rail. This programme includes positive train control, better level crossings, and the NEL.

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  • Authors:
    • IPSEN, J
  • Publication Date: 2000-4


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00795039
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM