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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

7/17/2008    Mechanical

Rail News: Mechanical

Virginia Port Authority to acquire three hybrid switchers from Railpower

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) recently obtained federal funds to help purchase three hybrid yard switchers for on-dock rail operations at Norfolk International Terminals.

Earlier this month, the authority obtained a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. VPA and terminal operator Virginia International Terminals Inc. will provide $2 million and $850,000, respectively, toward the $3.6 million purchase of two RP Series road switchers and one Green Goat hybrid yard locomotive from Railpower Technologies Corp. The authority will lease the units for three years, then purchase the locomotives.

The switchers will reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions at the terminals by 80 percent to 90 percent, and cut annual fuel costs by $143,000, according to VPA.

"Over time, these units will pay for themselves in fuel savings, efficiency, maintenance and overall operating cost,"  said VPA Director of Environmental Affairs Heather Mantz in a prepared statement. "These units are far more efficient and have more capacity than what we're using."

The authority expects to take delivery of the first unit in early August and acquire the remaining two units in spring 2009.

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