Diesel locomotives made by the Luhanskteplovoz holding company have been successfully tested in Iraq. According to Iraqi railroad workers, they demonstrated high operational performance during trial runs, reported the Cxid.info news agency, quoting company spokesman Volodymyr Spektor. According to Mr. Spektor, the first ten TE114I diesels are already carrying out their peaceful mission in Iraq, transporting grain, oil, and containers with all kinds of goods. “Our diesel locomotives made a real splash after being transported by sea and then on trailers”, said Oleksandr Shelikhov, leader of the Luhanskteplovoz maintenance group, who has returned to Luhansk with five maintenance specialists after a two-month stay in Iraq. The Ukrainian experts had to beat a hasty retreat owing to an aggravated situation in Iraq, and flew out on a plane organized by Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies for the evacuation of more than 800 CIS specialists from the war-torn country.
According to Mr. Shelikhov, the first two locomotives arrived at the Falujah railway station, about 70 km from Baghdad, on February 14. Two heavy-duty devices unloaded them: a 120-ton railway crane and a 160-ton truck-mounted one. The other locomotives were unloaded in the Iraqi town of Abu-Ghraid, 15 km from Baghdad. The first trial run of a TE114I driven by an Iraqi team and Luhansk specialists was a success. The first six locomotives have already been handed over to the customer. Mr. Shelikhov noted that so far there have been no complaints from driving teams.
Under the contract, the locomotives will be used to pull freight trains at speeds of up to 70 km/h, although the above-mentioned one reached topped 140 km/h in a trial run. A few days later the same diesel underwent an extended test at the head of a twenty-car, 1,200-ton freight train at the Baghdad — Al Tayi sector. The acceptance commission authorized the machine to be put into operation from March 14 onwards. Mr. Spektor says the Luhansk-made diesel locomotives looked very good alongside the foreign equipment. At any rate, the Iraqi drivers and maintenance technicians liked the TE114I.