Application —  24th Mar 2016

Geislinger Corporation – a solid partner for the Rail Market in the US

The dynamics of damper and coupling qualification as well as the demand forecasting for locomotives and rail related activities are a central part of the Geislinger efforts. The company has earned a solid reputation in the US and North America for products that are “Built to Last”. 

Geislinger Corporation with its plant in Battle Creek, Michigan, has developed and maintained a close relationship with the Rail Market in the United States. From the early days of design and qualification for medium speed and high horsepower engines, the market has expanded to meet the demand for locomotive power. Geislinger started with a damper, developed for EMD (now called Progress Rail), followed by a coupling damper combination. Currently, high speed and medium horsepower multi-engine platform damper and coupling installations utilizing Cummins and MTU engines are built.

Picture 1 + 2: The ES44C4 diesel locomotive built by GE Transportations Systems.
Picture 1 + 2: The ES44C4 diesel locomotive built by GE Transportations Systems.

In North America, freight rail is the dominant mode with passenger transport (such as Amtrak or urban cities) being often a second priority on shared “host and tenant” tracks. Typical freight trains are about 2,25 miles (3,6 km), sometimes as much as 2,65 miles (4,3 km) in length, and weighing up to 18.000 tons. The technology needed to move these trains has resulted in a change from traditional “head end” power where the loco is located in the front of the train set to “distributed” power where the lead locomotive is remotely linked and synchronized to other locomotives interspersed throughout the full length of the train.

The passenger rail loco market in North America presents a combination of electrified, diesel-electric and dual-mode vehicles. They are found predominantly in inter-city mainline corridors, such as Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada, along with regional rail suburban commuter lines in most major metropolitan areas. There are plans to build diesel-electric “charger” locomotives with a speed of up to 200 km/h for Amtrak. They will be placed into passenger service in the Midwest States of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa (Midwest Coalition), the State of California and the State of Washington. Amtrak established the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee (PRIIA 305) formed to design, develop and procure standardized next-generation corridor equipment.

The diesel locos utilize Cummins Tier 4 16VQSK95 with 3 kW. Bombardier has supplied both electric ALP46 and dual-mode ALP45 locomotives utilizing two Caterpillar 3512C HD engines with 1,6 kW each. Other applications include short-line MTU alternator combinations utilizing our coupling as retrofit against elastomeric couplings.

Geislinger has been successful providing updated Torsional Vibration Analysis and damper recommendations for several new engine tests as conducted in 2015 and in 2016. Successful testing will allow OEM’s to meet the Tier 4 requirements.