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Isle of Man Railways new diesel engine on way

25th November, 2013

The unit designation is a MP550-B1 and is powered by one (1) Tier 3 Cummings QSX15 550HP Diesel Engine connected to a 480 3Phase Alternator and powering four (4) DC 250 HP Traction Motors.  The propulsion system is equipped with a microprocessor for traction, alternator and engine controls.  This unit has each traction motor directly connected to a reduction type gear box, top speed which is limited by the gearing, is 29 MPH.

It is understood that the MP550-B1 locomotive will be utilized as a rescue vehicle and maintenance support vehicle which is able to be started, and placed into service promptly if one of the primary steam locomotives is taken out of service.  By utilizing the MP550-1 locomotive as a backup to the historic steam locomotives, the railway is able to maintain the historic presence and simply keeps the original value of the Isle of Man Railway in place.

A government spokesman said it will ensure that the railways continue to operate "safely and efficiently".Community, Culture and Leisure Minister, Graham Cregeen said the new engine meant some positive changes for the heritage railways.

He added: "This improved performance opens up the possibility of operating more efficient commuter trains during TT week.

"It will [also] permit the emergency substitution of steam engines instead of using buses to transport passengers."

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