Power electronics for shunting locomotives

Strukton supplies the power electronics for GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN new platform for shunting engines. This is the first application of Strukton’s power electronics concept for small series of ‘special vehicles’.


The first customer for this platform has ordered two locomotives, of both the dual diesel and diesel-battery versions. With the option to order another four locomotives.

GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN is developing a new platform for shunting locomotives with two, three or four axles. Depending on the customer’s wishes, these may be driven by a diesel generator, batteries, a third rail or a combination of these.

Until recently the usual configuration for shunting locomotives on factory sites was three axles. Factory sites often feature sharp curves ends, which necessitates a short wheelbase. Conversely, for transport to another location, stability at higher speeds is important, which demands a longer wheelbase. The advantage of the three-axle version is the relatively low production costs (one wheel set fewer). Disadvantages are maximum traction force and trunk line stability (speed often restricted, or track access is even prohibited).

Four-axle loc

With its four-axle loco, GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN offers an unconventional solution. Its configuration offers greater traction force when shunting, and better stability on the trunk line. Through its compact construction, GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN’s four-axle loco is just as short as its three-axle competitors. With its two bogies, it handles tight curves well.


Rail transport features many types of trains for maintenance, shunting, rescue work and other special activities. Because they are usually built in relatively small series, they are often called ‘specials’.

Broadly, the following categories may be distinguished:



Major industrial facilities such as car manufacturers, steel mills, ports and chemicals factories sometimes have up to 30 kilometres of track on their sites, with various locomotives that never leave the site. The challenge for the manufacturers of locos for these parties is that the one-off costs must be recouped from few (usually two to five) locos. This often leads to solutions that are sub-optimal or even unsuitable for use on the main track.

Sustainable & flexible

Shunting locomotives often operate up to 75% of their time in idle mode (waiting time), which means a lot of effort is needed to reduce emissions. To reduce emissions and fuel consumption, the GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN Dual Diesel version is equipped with two diesel generators that can be switched on and off at lower power requirements.

In addition to the above, the Strukton solution offers GMEINDER LOKOMOTIVEN water-cooled power electronics with well-sealed compartments. This is an important point for the end customer, given that their factories often have conductive dust suspended in the air.


To supply customers with different vehicle configurations with one standard, Strukton Rolling Stock developed a flexible system. Flexibility is reached by:

  • The development of a monorail traction system
  • The use of water cooling for the IGBTs (power transistors)
  • The use of the industry standard 19 inch rack installation dimension

Check the project sheet for further information about the system flexibility.

Further information