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Rail News: Mechanical

Savannah port's 11 locomotives sport idle-control devices


Last month, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced that 11 locomotives operating at the Port of Savannah have been equipped with automatic engine stop-start (AESS) devices designed to cut diesel consumption by 50,000 gallons and reduce emissions by about 18 tons annually.

Operated by Rail Link, the locomotives are used to switch inbound and outbound rail cars for Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation. Supplied by ZTR Control Systems Inc., the AESS devices are designed to reduce emissions by powering down locomotive engines and restarting them only when needed. Rail Link’s Savannah operation is the first to feature the devices, GPA officials said in a prepared statement.

“The smart start system controls excessive engine idling by monitoring battery voltage, water temperature and air brake pressures. If it drops below any of the parameters, it will restart the unit,” said Rail Link Vice President Jim Wineland.

The GPA obtained a grant for the AESS retrofit through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The authority used the funds to reimburse Rail Link as the grant’s sub-recipient.

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More News from 2/22/2012