In March 2011, TasRail called for Expression of Interest in the supply of new locomotives. Details of the requirements were not been made public but are believed to be for conventionally or "gen-set" powered locomotive around the 1500kW to 2200kW range. Seven responses were initially received, and in August 2011 it was announced that four short-listed companies - Bombardier (Europe), Progress Rail (USA), National Rail Equipment Corporation (USA) and CSR Qishuyan (China) - had been selected to proceed to formal tenders. On 13 December 2011 it was announced that Progress Rail (part of the Caterpillar group, and owner of EMD), in conjunction with its Australian partner Downer Rail had been awarded the contract to construct 17 locomotive of their PR22L model. The contract is worth more than $60million
The first two locomotives (TR01 and TR04) were delivered to Tasmania in November 2013, with subsequent batches of locomotives following every few months. The final locos were delivered in mid 2014.
Following commissioning and testing, the locomotives gradually entered ad-hoc service from March 2014 and full commercial service from May 2014.
The locomotives can be modified from 18 tonne axle load (108t gross) to 16 tonne axle load (96t gross) for Melba line services by removing 1 tonne weight blocks from each of the four corners of the locomotive and limiting the overall fuel load.
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