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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

12/13/2007    Mechanical



Rail News: Mechanical

'Green' switchers help UP save greenbacks on fuel, cut emissions in Texas




How much of a difference are environmentally friendly switchers making in Union Pacific Railroad's attempt to improve air quality at its Texas yards? Big time. Yesterday, UP and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced the railroad has "over-achieved" an emission reduction goal by 57 percent with help from ultra-low-emitting locomotives.

During the past few years, incentives from TCEQ's emission reduction program helped UP acquire 98 GenSet switchers from Railpower Technologies Corp. for yards in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio areas. The 2,000-horsepower locomotives have reduced air emissions from 54 to 63 percent, and cut fuel usage about 30 percent compared with conventional switchers.

Along with the 98 GenSet units, UP operates 23 other environmentally friendly switchers in Texas. Overall, about half of the railroad's more than 8,500-unit locomotive fleet is certified under existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 0, Tier 1 or Tier 2 regulations governing emissions.

The Class I also is testing aftermarket technologies — including an oxidation catalyst filtering canister and diesel particulate filter — to determine if the products can reduce emissions in older locomotives.




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