Transmashholding (TMH) is developing a new range of hybrid shunting locomotives. The first concept was presented by the manufacturer at the International Railway Fair PRO//Motion.Expo in Scherbinka. Mr. Mikhail Rozhkov, Engineering Director of Transmashholding, and Mr. Igor Seleznev, Deputy CEO of Ctrl2GO Group, share the details on the innovative locomotives by TMH.

Welcome to the hybrid future!

  • Igor Seleznev,
    Deputy CEO of Ctrl2GO Group
  • Mikhail Rozhkov,
    Engineering Director of Transmashholding
The time is now

Mr. Rozhkov, the professional community is excitedly discussing the agreement signed by Transmashholding, Russian Railways, and RUSNANO at the SPIEF'19 concerning environmentally-friendly shunting locomotives using a hybrid drive. Share the details, please.

Mikhail Rozhkov: We intend to implement two pilot projects at once and create brand-new hybrid locomotives, namely the four-axis contact-battery electric locomotive EMKA2, and the two-axis hybrid locomotive TEM5X. RUSNANO will supply traction batteries for the new rolling stock. It is worth noting that our goal is not only to design and build a batch of locomotives in response to a specific order, but also to contribute to establishment of a new market segment of hybrid locomotives with the state-of-the-art energy storage systems and, of course, we strive to dominate this market.
A hybrid locomotive may be easily transformed into a battery electric locomotive or a double-diesel engine one by quick module replacement, if the customer sees it fit
A number of manufacturers have already attempted to create hybrid locomotives. However, they have not yet gone mainstream. Why should you succeed now?

Mikhail Rozhkov: Technologies are continuously evolving, thus something that was technically challenging or cost inefficient 5 or 10 years ago, now might be a solution of choice for our customers. Battery-driven electric transport is becoming increasingly popular. A growing number of hybrid cars and electric buses are superseding conventional transport on the streets of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other cities. That is the result of the rapid development of energy storage technologies and, particularly, Li-Ion batteries. The battery prices have fallen several-fold, whereas their safety, reliability, energy density, and other characteristics have improved enough to comply with the stringent requirements for transport applications. From the perspective of our know-how and cost estimates, it is safe to say that the time is now, and the advanced hybrid locomotives emerge as full-featured competitors to the conventional diesel locomotives for a variety of applications. Moreover, we expect the light shunting hybrid diesel locomotive and medium-sized contact-battery shunting electric locomotive to be the most promising.
Signing of an agreement between
Transmashholding, Russian Railways,
and RUSNANO at the SPIEF'19
A hybrid locomotive may be easily transformed into a battery electric locomotive or a double-diesel engine one by quick module replacement, if the customer sees it fit
One of TEM5X style solutions
A fusion of Ideas

Mr. Seleznev, what are the key features of diesel locomotive TEM5X?

Igor Seleznev: TEM5X is a light two-axis shunting locomotive designed to use lower-capacity batteries and a lower-power diesel engine as compared to, for example, mainline locomotives. Its modular design provides new opportunities for its maintenance. The very idea of modular design contrasts with the former approaches. The concept adopted by TMH will allow both changing the locomotive configuration and replacing its faulty modules, whenever required.

A simple example of the idea is that a hybrid locomotive may be easily transformed into a battery electric locomotive or a two-diesel traction unit by quick module replacement, if the customer considers it necessary.This offers great opportunities for operators and ensures flexible fleet management.
What are the criteria for selection of a diesel engine?

Igor Seleznev: We have bet on a proven and tried-and-true diesel-generator set with as low power as 200 kW. The use of such kind of diesel engine on a locomotive without a hybrid circuit would be challenging. However, the battery which will complement diesel engine power at some point provides the required traction performance and improved sustainability. Moreover, the customers benefit from the lower-power diesel engine, since a lot of enterprises has already mastered maintenance of such machines at the motor vehicle fleet level.
State-of-the-art technologies implemented
in shunting locomotive TEM5X
  • Hybrid power pack
  • Quick-release and configurable modular platform
  • Technical status prediction
  • Remote control system
Currently, aesthetic appearance has not a small role to play in the rolling stock production. What stylistic solutions have been implemented in the new hybrid machine?

Igor Seleznev: Since new locomotives will be used at railroad terminals, with a lot of people around, it was decided to build an attractive machine in line with the current industrial design trends. However, design is always inherent in compromise. In addition to its aesthetic appearance, the machine must comply with rigorous railway transport standards. In our case, we used the design approach combining ideas of those involved in design and those in charge of technical specifications and adherence to standards. A brandnew machine has been built as a result. The implemented solutions both satisfy modern aesthetic demands and ensure produceability and ease of maintenance.
  • Igor Seleznev
We use innovative solutions not because it is a trend but because we strive to meet the needs of consumers
Looking for benefits

What features and operational benefits will owners of hybrid locomotives enjoy?

Mikhail Rozhkov: On-board storage batteries will substantially save resources during the machine life cycle. Preliminary estimates show that locomotive TEM 5X will reduce operational fuel consumption by 30%, as compared to diesel locomotives with higher number of axles. For contact-battery electric locomotive EMKA2, the index is even higher. The machine is "fueled" with cheap electricity from the railway contact network through its standard current collector, therefore no expenditures are required to equip it with diesel fuel and oil. I wish to underscore that the core of both locomotives, i.e. traction batteries, will have common hardware components and be standardized to the extent possible, all the way to interchangeability. The new models will feature integrated digital solutions at a system level, such as predictive diagnostics, computer vision, and remote control.
Igor Seleznev: A lot of similar technologies have already been implemented in the railway transport sector. However, TMH will be the first to consistently integrate those solutions in rolling stock design. I feel certain that there are no such machines in the world yet and new hybrid locomotives will become a commercial success.

I would like to emphasize that we use innovative solutions not because it is a trend but because we strive to meet the needs of consumers. For example, a predictive analytics solution predicts potential failures of individual units and assemblies of a locomotive and schedules its maintenance in advance. This notably reduces repair component of the life cycle cost, allowing to ensure maintenance and repair based on actual condition of a locomotive. Looking ahead, we intend to implement remote control and collision avoidance systems, as well as a self-driving system in a longer run.
Sketch of a hybrid diesel locomotive
What is the idea behind them?

Mikhail Rozhkov: It is the remote control that offers customers to control one or more locomotives from anywhere. It is like playing a computer game: all route details are displayed on the screen, and you can drive the machine, responding to the changing environment, i.e. accelerate, apply brakes or stop it. Then you can set a completely different locomotive into motion. All this without getting up. Herewith, the ability to control several machines at once from the same spot considerably minimizes operational time and labour costs. Moreover, the service downtime of locomotives is reduced as well, since to switch over between their cabins is as easy as to use a switch on control panel.

A self-driving system provides fully autonomous movement of the machine between points A and B. This requires an infrastructure to ensure high-level dispatching. A certain set of systems analyzes whether the track is unoccupied and transmits a permissive signal. The locomotive itself does not go in the blind. It uses a computer vision and obstacle detection system to monitor immediate conditions and can stop in case of emergency or, on the contrary, continue moving as soon as an obstacle is removed.
Another benefit is recuperation, i.e. energy generated by engines during braking will be returned back to the battery
It would seem that development of the hybrid machines comes with implementation of new technologies in the design process as well?

Igor Seleznev: Quite so! Another know-how TMH implements is the development of digital twins of the locomotives under design. This is not just about digital design but also digital simulation of operating conditions. Playing certain potential scenarios out, we will manage to provide for the best configuration of the systems. The use of digital twins along with predictive analytics produces profound synergy effect. Based on operational conditions, we can configure the locomotive firstly in terms of use of the hybrid power pack to vary its power, energy capacity and, ultimately, cost. Essentially, this means machine customization. Moreover, modular design will give the opportunity to retrofit locomotives throughout their entire service life. If the battery capacity greatly increases in future, a diesel engine might be put aside altogether, without any changes in locomotive design, only replacing one module with the other.

A storage battery will allow to ensure best duty cycle of a diesel engine or not to start it at all if there is no need to. It will give up its stored energy when the locomotive is stopped or started, as well as at the time of peak loads, smoothing them and reducing fuel consumption, especially under transient conditions. When drastic emission reduction is required, the locomotive can operate only on a battery, with the functional condition maintained by advance charging from a diesel engine or external power supply if the relevant infrastructure is available. Another benefit is recuperation, i.e. energy generated by engines during braking will be returned back to the battery.
Digital-twin concept suggests both
digital design of the locomotive
and digital simulation of operating
conditions effecting thereon
Certification finalization and launch of mass production of the diesel locomotive and electric locomotive EMKA2 are scheduled
for 2021 and 2022 respectively
When is mass production of the hybrid machines scheduled?

Mikhail Rozhkov: A trilateral agreement for supply of shunting locomotives for passenger railroad terminals of metropolitan cities has already been signed. In late summer, we presented a prototype of TEM5X at the International Railway Fair PRO//Motion.Expo in Scherbinka. Certification finalization and launch of mass production of the diesel locomotive and electric locomotive EMKA2 are scheduled for 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Self-driving vehicles in Russia

As has been recently announced in Skolkovo, Russia ranks third-to-last by readiness for implementation of self-driving cars, with only Mexica and India behind, as reported by KPMG. The ill-conceived legislation is allegedly the key challenge for development of self-driving cars in Russia. Even the concept of a self-driving vehicle itself is neglected therein. However, such vehicles are already currently in use.

MATRЁSHKA is a modular self-driving commercial vehicle designed for passenger and cargo applications, as well as municipal services. Due to lack of financing, the project has been all but shut down. However, the recent data suggest that it has been reset. Nevertheless, its developer – Bakulin Motors Group Holding (under trademark Volgabus) – has crossed over to gas-engine buses and presented a self-driving off-the-road bus at the SPIEF'19.

КAMAZ-1221 SHUTTLE is a self-driving electric mini-bus designed jointly by Research Center NAMI, KAMAZ, and Yandex and introduced in 2016. Unlike MATRЁSHKA, it is going to participate in an experimental test of self-driving cars on public roads.

Self-driving Yandex taxi cabs already run along public roads in Tel-Aviv, New York, Moscow, and the Republic of Tatarstan. If in Russia, until quite recently, cars with a driver in a passenger seat have been offered only in Skolkovo and Innopolis, in May, Yandex announced putting five such cabs in operation on Moscow roads. Several dozens more are waiting for permit.

In mid-July, Skolkovo tested a new Russian know-how BaseTracK designed to control self-driving vehicles. This new technology provides car driving on virtual rails that are basically a set of points used to drive the car from one to another.
1,435 mm-gauge hybrids

First prototypes of the hybrid machines appeared in 1960s. However, they were not widely used due to poor reliability and lack of suitability to the contemporary railway infrastructure.

One of the first successful models — Railpower GG20B Green Goat's — was built by Canadian RailPower Technologies Corporation in 2004. Compared to the similar diesel models, Green Goat's featured lower fuel consumption (by 40 to 60%) and reduced emissions (by 80 to 90%).

In 2010, Toshiba presented a hybrid diesel locomotive JR Freight Class HD300 that turned out to be such a success that it was modified for different climatic zones.

H3-series hybrid shunting locomotives made by Alstom for DB Regio consume half as much fuel. Besides, they are characterized by lower noise and emissions (by 70%), reducing environmental risks and preventing carbon dioxide emission by 400 tons a year.

Though most hybrid machines are used for shunting applications, Bombardier Transportation introduced ALP-45DP designed for suburban lines, in 2010. These locomotives still run around the suburban areas in New York and Montreal. In 2011, hybrid trains Allegra were brought into operation on Rhatische Bahn high-level rail road in the Swiss Alps, known for steep gradients, tight curves, frequent icing of power lines, and need to use various DC and AC traction energy systems. The know-how implemented therein both improves traction power of the train and eliminates the need for rolling stock replacement on particularly challenging sections.
  • It is for the first time ever that the locomotive design is developed with the predictive analysis technologies built in to predict failure of the main units and assemblies of the locomotive, as well as to replace equipment before it breaks down in service.
  • New locomotive TEM5X will feature long-range remote control with a stationary control panel.
  • Locomotive TEM5X is subject to flexible customization according to individual customer demands, when customers may choose among a set of options.
  • With the lower cost of batteries, the hybrid technology becomes more budget-friendly.
  • The advance modular design concept provides for hot-swapping of modules both during repair, and for ensuring best locomotive configuration according to end-user requirements.
Daria Topilskaya
+7 499 136 76 00
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Shabolovka, 31/32, Moscow, Russia, 125009