Bombardier unveils JetTrain technology

Bombardier Transportation has unveiled the first 150-mile per hour, non-electric high-speed rail locomotive designed for the North American market.

The Bombardier JetTrain locomotive, unveiled yesterday, October 15th, is powered by a jet engine derived from a Pratt & Whitney PW 150, which replaces the traditional diesel engine found in most current rail equipment.

JetTrain technology was designed to offer the speed and acceleration of electric trains without the cost of building electrified rail lines. It is said to meet all North American standards for high-speed rail.

The initiative was launched in 1998 as a public-private development partnership between Bombardier Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

Among its many performance features, the locomotive is 20 per cent lighter than a conventional diesel unit with twice the acceleration. It has already undergone extensive low and high-speed dynamic testing as part of the Bombardier/FRA Research & Development program.

JetTrain is said to be significantly more environmentally friendly than other forms of mass transportation. Under operating conditions, JetTrain greenhouse gas emissions will be at least 30 per cent lower than from a conventional diesel. The JetTrain locomotive is also quieter than FRA noise standards at all operating speeds.

JetTrain is the only non-electric high-speed rail technology designed to meet Tier II Passenger Equipment Safety Standards established by the FRA, which specify minimum safety requirements related to crash energy management, rollover strength, and the ability to withstand compressive forces at speeds greater than 125 mph.