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Rail News: Mechanical

MotivePower introduces low-emission switcher; EJ&E tests NREC's GenSet switcher


Wabtec Corp. subsidiary MotivePower is taking the wraps off MPEx, an ultra-low emissions switcher. Featuring a multi-engine design, the MPEx will begin revenue-service testing with Class Is by March's end.

The MPEx will be available in a two- or three-engine design, and offer air emission reductions of between 70 percent and 80 percent, and fuel savings of about 35 percent compared with a conventional switcher. The locomotive features an integrated automatic engine start/stop system, high-visibility operator's cab, microprocessor control system and pressurized engine car body.

"This new, ultra-low emissions locomotive combines the best features of prior models with enhanced engine technology to offer an environmentally sound solution that is also expected to save fuel, reduce maintenance and improve reliability," said Wabtec President and Chief Executive Officer Albert Neupaver in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, another railroad is kicking the tires on National Railway Equipment Co.'s (NREC) environmentally friendly locomotive. The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E) recently completed a one-week operational test of a three-engine 2,100-horspepower N-ViroMotive™ GenSet locomotive at its Gary, Ind., yard.

The N-ViroMotive is designed to reduce emissions about 80 percent, cut fuel usage more than 50 percent, and boost tractive effort between 50 percent and 65 percent compared with a conventional switcher.

Owned by U.S. Steel Subsidiary Transtar, the EJ&E serves the Chicago metropolitan area via lines between Waukegan, Ill., and Gary. Other railroads that have tested the N-ViroMotive include the Nashville & Eastern Railroad, Tacoma Rail, Providence & Worcester Railroad Co., and Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad.

"Already proven in service, N-ViroMotive locomotives are over five years ahead of anticipated EPA emissions regulations for new switching locomotives," said NREC Vice President of Marketing and Sales Jim Wurtz in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/28/2008