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GE U20C from Novoeste railways, in Brazil.
The GE U20C diesel-electric locomotive was introduced by GE Transportation Systems as an export model road switcher in 1964. It was powered by the 8-cylinder FDL-8T engine. This locomotive is used worldwide with many variations and modifications. Different engines may be used, e.g. 7FDL8 and 7FDL12. Like the other members of the Universal series, it is compatible with all track gauges.
A unique modification is the wide cab version of the 2000 HP U20C used on the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge Indonesian railroad and operated by PT Kereta Api Indonesia (Indonesian National Railway Company). Unlike other models of the U20C, with short hood cabin, the Indonesian U20C features a full-width cabin, for comfort and better sight of track and signals. It is classified as CC203 by PT Kereta Api Indonesia. The wide cab was built by Goninan Locomotive Work (now UGL Rail) in Australia.
Between 1995 and 2000, 41 units of this locomotive type were delivered to the Indonesia. Which was numbered as CC203 01-41. The first batch is number 01-12 which were imported from GE Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania, United States. And numbers 13-41 were built locally by PT GE Lokomotif Indonesia, a joint company between PT Industri Kereta Api Indonesia / Indonesian Railway Industry (PT INKA) and GE Transportation. The CC 203 was designed between Goninan, Australia and GE, USA. In which Goninan constructed the wide cabin and GE constructed the engine and the body.
All locomotives are still in operation, and were allocated for pulling express passenger trains, but in special conditions they pull 3rd class and sometimes freight trains as well. All CC 203s were painted with the newest livery of Indonesian Railways Co.
Class CC 203s were built to commemorate 50 years of Indonesian Independence in 1995. This locomotive is specially built for pulling Argo express trains like Argo Bromo JS950. After the Indonesian Government launched many Argo Trains, CC 203 always pulled the Argo Train. After the railway acquired newer locomotives like the CC 204 (C20EMP) and CC 206, CC 203s were no longer the main haulers of Argo trains with exception of Argo Wilis. Now CC 203 pulls every train in Java, not just passenger, mostly mixed-class, business (being phased out), and economy, but occasionally, freight trains as well. While in Sumatra, 4 units of CC 203 class (CC 203 31-34 in old numbering system or CC 203 01 01-04 in the new system) were used in double traction mode to haul pulp and log train for a company called PT Tanjung Enim Lestari Pulp and Paper. These particular CC 203s were allocated at Tanjung Karang depot, Lampung. Also, a pair of CC 203 class from Jatinegara motive power depot also used as haulers of special Presidential Trains before being replaced by CC 206s, also operated in double traction for safety reasons.
In year 2005, GE Locomotive Indonesia introduced a brand new locomotive with full computer control. It was given type as C20EMP and still uses the 7FDL-8 engine. The overall shape is similar to other Indonesian CC 203s, but has a Brightstar Sirius on-board computer to control the propulsion and transmission, for better fuel economy and lifetime. The power rating is 2150 HP but the power output is 1950 HP. Because the result is very good, PT Kereta Api Indonesia, made a contract with PT Industri Kereta Api Indonesia (PT INKA) to build 20 locomotives. Then, the brand-new C20EMP was delivered from GE and assembled at PT Industri Kereta Api Indonesia (PT INKA). These C20EMP numbered as CC 204 08-xx will be numbered as CC 204 12-17. CC204 08-09 was delivered at 2008, CC204 10-11 was delivered at 2009. A total of 30 locomotives were manufactured before production ended in 2011. While in Java, C20EMPs (CC 204) were mostly pulling Argo class trains and other executive class trains alongside the CC 203. All CC204s are used for hauling coal trains and passenger trains in South Sumatra, replaced by CC206 (CM20EMP) in Java.
In year 2000, PT Industri Kereta Api Indonesia (PT INKA) made the last CC 203 for Philippines Port Railways. It has same specification as Indonesian CC 203. But after 7 years of revenue service, the container rail service was closed down. The locomotive was refurbished and was shipped to Australia for Coote Industrial Company. After strip down inspection and maintenance, the locomotive was put back on revenue service.
Around 2015 this locomotive (numbered U201) was acquired by Transperth Trains - the commuter rail operator in Perth, Western Australia - whose fleet otherwise consists solely of electric multiple units. U201 replaced Transperth's earlier diesel shunter, a Westrail MA-class locomotive, which was in turn acquired by Hotham Valley Railway, a tourist heritage railway operating south of Perth. U201 is now based at Transperth Train's Claisebrook depot.
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GE U20C in Brazil, FEPASA #3860
GE U20C Wide Cab in Indonesia, CC203 22
GE U20C, South African Class 33-000 no 33-009
- "July 2015". Hotham Valley Railway. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Prasetya, Sendy; Sudarsih, Amad (May 2014). "Berburu CC 203 in Action". Indonesian Railways Magazine.
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