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Rail News: Intermodal

Pacific Harbor Line to obtain air emission-reducing locomotives for L.A.-area ports


Pacific Harbor Line Inc. (PHL) and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., plan to launch a $23 million program designed to improve air quality by replacing the 85-mile short line’s 18 locomotives with ‘clean-diesel’ and alternative-fuel models.

The program is part of a new 10-year contract extension between the ports and PHL, which provides switching service, and dispatches BNF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad trains at the facilities. The L.A. and Long Beach harbor commissions will vote on the contract this week.

An Anacostia & Pacific Co. Inc. subsidiary, PHL will replace its fleet of diesel-electric locomotives – some more than 50 years old — and acquire 16 power units equipped with diesel engines that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tier 2” standards for reducing emissions. The short line also will acquire one locomotive that runs on liquefied natural gas and another that incorporates hybrid diesel-battery technology. Each port will provide about $5 million for the program; remaining costs will be covered by PHL and a $3.2 million state grant.

“Switching out these older locomotives with newer ones will result in a 53 percent reduction in NOx emissions and 45 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions per locomotive,” said Port of L.A. Interim Executive Director Bruce Seaton in a prepared statement.

In addition to acquiring the locomotives, PHL will test diesel oxidation catalysts (exhaust cleanup devices) on its locomotives.

“PHL’s locomotive fleet will have the lowest average emissions profile of any railroad in the United States,” said PHL President Andrew Fox.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/29/2005