South African Class 44-000

The Transnet Freight Rail Class 44-000 of 2015 is a South African diesel-electric locomotive.

South African Class 44-000
No. 44-005 at Koedoespoort, 29 September 2015
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
DesignerGeneral Electric
BuilderGeneral Electric
Transnet Engineering
Serial numberGE built: 63325-63330/2015
ModelGE ES40ACi
Build date2015-
Total produced233
Gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge
Wheel diameter1,040 mm (40.9 in)
Loco weight291,010 lb (132,000 kg)
Fuel typeDiesel
Prime moverGE GEVO-12
Engine type4-stroke diesel
AspirationElectronic fuel-injection system
DisplacementBore 250 mm (9.8 in)
Stroke 320 mm (12.6 in)
Traction motorsSix 445 kW (597 hp) GE 3-phase AC induction
Loco brakeAir & Dynamic
Train brakesAir & Vacuum
Safety systemsLoco-cam
CouplersAAR knuckle
Performance figures
Power output4,200 hp (3,100 kW)
OperatorsTransnet Freight Rail
ClassClass 44-000
Number in class233
Numbers44-001 to 44-233
First run2015

In 2015 Transnet Engineering at Koedoespoort in Pretoria took delivery of the first six of 233 Class 44-000 General Electric type ES40ACi diesel-electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail.


The first six Class 44-000 locomotives were built in the United States of America by General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania in April and July 2015. In October 2015 the first of 227 locally-built locomotives was nearing completion at the Koedoespoort shops in Pretoria, while the first two of the six imported locomotives were undergoing testing on the line between Pyramid South and Warmbad.[1]

The acquisition of the Class 44-000 forms part of the largest-ever locomotive supply contract in South African history and the single-biggest investment initiative by a South African corporation. It consists of contracts for the construction of 1,064 locomotives by four global original equipment manufacturers:[2][3][4]

  • General Electric South Africa Technologies (a unit of the U.S.-based GE Transportation) for 233 Class 44-000 diesel-electric locomotives.[2]
  • CNR Rolling Stock South Africa (Pty.) Ltd. for 232 Class 45-000 diesel-electric locomotives.[2]
  • CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company for 359 Class 22E dual-voltage electric locomotives.[2]
  • Bombardier Transportation South Africa for 240 Class 23E dual-voltage electric locomotives.[2]


The Class 44-000 GE type ES40ACi diesel-electric locomotive was designed by GE Rail, a division of General Electric. While the forerunner Class 43-000 was, to a large extent, designed by GE for Cape gauge and bought "off the shelf", the Class 44-000 was designed and built to stringent specifications prescribed by Transnet Freight Rail.[5]

The core components of the Class 44-000, such as the GEVO-12 prime movers, were manufactured in the United States of America, with locomotive construction and final assembly taking place at Koedoes­poort. This will be in compliance with the minimum local content criteria for rolling stock of 55% for diesel-electric locomotives.[2]

The six American-built locomotives, numbered in the range from 44-001 to 44-006, were all delivered to Transnet Engineering at Koedoespoort by September 2015. The first two, numbers 44-002 and 44-003, were at Pyramid South for testing and evaluation with a traction test vehicle on the line between Pyramid South and Warmbad, prior to road testing hauling freight. The rest are being built by Transnet Engineering and will be numbered in the range from 44-007 to 44-233.[5]

Works numbers

The GE-built Class 44-000 builder’s works numbers are shown in the table.


All the Class 44-000 locomotives were delivered in red TFR livery. The reason for the pink colour of the chains on the bogies could not be determined.


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