In 2004 Alstom was awarded with a mega contract form the Chinese ministery of railways to built 180 articulated electric locomotive for the Chinese railways, to be used for hauling heavy coal trains. Twelve units were built in the Alstom factory of Belfort (FR) and the first was outshopped in January 2007. The rest of the batch was built at the factories of CNR Datong Electric Locomotive Co., the local partner of Alstom in this project. Initially, the HXD 2 series was designated as DJ 4 6xxx.
HXD2 in Europe
In October 2006 there was an opportunity to have a look at the first units under construction in Belfort. The front cab design is very similar to that of the BB 75000 series of SNCF Fret, the frame however looks oversized compared to the European Prima models. As the HXD 2s are used in non-stop service, these locomotives have extra fascilities aboard. One section has a kitchen module, in the other one a sleeping compartment.
In January 2007 the first machine was prepared for enshipment to China. Unit number two was transported to the Siemens test center of Wegberg-Wildenrath.