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C44ACi standard gauge heavy haul locomotives

Delivering flexibility, increased capacity and greater control in the pit to port supply chain

Centennial Coal
Contract Value
Project Duration
Commenced: June 2011
Estimated Completion
Completed: March 2012
Service Lines/Product Description

C44ACi diesel electric locomotive

Hunter Valley and Central Tablelands, NSW

“Essentially these locomotives have delivered greater operational flexibility and increased capacity, reinvigorating our coal supply chain. We’re setting new benchmarks in performance which are opening up new opportunities in meeting increased market demand locally here in Australia and throughout Asia.”

 “We appreciate the efforts that both UGL and GE have gone to in satisfying our particular requirements even down to the finest detail such as tailoring the operator cab design and we look forward to continuing this profitable relationship as we break new ground with our new workhorses.”

Managing Director & CEO
Centennial Coal
Mr David Moult

Project Overview

Centennial Coal’s first fleet of locomotives has successfully supported the company’s rapid supply growth. The locomotives have delivered increased haulage capacity for the company almost doubling the amount of coal transported from previous years.

Centennial Coal and its rail operator Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) recently took delivery of seven 4400 horsepower C44ACi locomotives for its coal haulage operations in the Hunter Valley and Central Tableland regions of New South Wales.

The locomotives, numbered CEY001 through to CEY007, are a batch of CEY Class units that have been built for Centennial Coal by UGL. The locomotive class ‘CEY’ represents Centennial Coal’s Australian Stock Exchange code before it was purchased in 2010 by Thailand based Banpu, Asia’s largest independent coal group.

The Challenge

Centennial Coal has ten operating coal mines in New South Wales, making it one of the largest underground coal producers in the state. The company is a major supplier to the New South Wales energy industry, fuelling approximately 40% of the State’s coal-fired electricity. Centennial Coal also has a growing export capability and currently sells approximately 40% of its coal into the export market. Coal is exported through ports at Newcastle and Port Kembla in NSW and their customers include power stations and steel mills in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Europe.

The challenge for Centennial Coal was to establish an integrated coal supply chain that would better support growth markets for the company domestically and abroad. To achieve this objective, Centennial Coal recognised the importance of linking their coal mine operations to the ports with high performance locomotives that would ultimately provide greater control and certainty of supply.

The Solution

From robust planning, to integrated design, LEAN manufacturing, commissioning, and seamless transition to operation, every aspect of UGL’s delivery was focused on achieving first class outcomes for Centennial Coal.

The company took delivery over January and February 2012 of the first five CEY Class locomotives. Initial load trials were impressive with three locomotives hauling 50 coal wagons over the Fassifern Bank without a banker locomotive assisting. This made it the heaviest lift to date for a locomotive consist on that line.

The CEY Class locomotives are representatives of the C44ACi model, developed by UGL in collaboration with GE Transportation, to provide a standard high horsepower AC traction locomotive suitable for all Australian main line operations. Depending on designated task and fuel load, they weigh in at between 134 and 139 tonnes.

UGL adopted a standardised platform approach for the C44ACi with a view to cutting engineering costs for new models and allowing the company to offer attractive prices even for small quantities. For customers such as Centennial Coal, this platform concept pays off doubly: they not only profit from the effects of scale due to the high proportion of equivalent parts used in the manufacture, they also benefit from the correspondingly fewer number of spare parts to be kept in stock

Key Outcomes and Benefits

The CEY Class locomotive reinforces UGL and GE’s commitment to delivering a superior and cost effective product to valued customer Centennial Coal. The collaboration has worked closely with SSR to ensure that Centennial Coal focuses on its core business of mining and supplying coal to domestic and export markets.

During the fleets first period of operation, Centennial Coal set a new record in the month of May 2012 hauling approximately 770,000 tonnes of coal from mine to port.

Key benefits and outcomes included:

  • Greater operational flexibility and increased capacity has enabled Centennial Coal to reach new supply targets.
  • UGL’s specialist engineering and project teams provided a distinct advantage for Centennial Coal driving the most effective product solution focused on budget and on-time delivery.
  • Designing a fit for purpose product that satisfied the customer’s requirements where operational performance exceeded expectations.
  • Able to haul heavier loads with GE’s unique AC individual-axle traction control technology that significantly reduces slippage.
  • Outstanding power output equipped with a 4500 GHP engine.
  • Ergonomically designed low-noise operator cab embodies a well-organised clean and neat style for maximum efficiency.
  • Isolated operator cab mounting to reduce vibration and noise transmission.
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