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Rail News: Mechanical

NS purchases two RailPower switcher conversion kits


Norfolk Southern Corp. recently ordered two RP-series multi-engine, low-emission road switcher conversion kits from RailPower Technologies Corp. The railroad will take delivery of the kits by year’s end and retain an option to purchase additional units between 2007 and 2009.

NS plans to use the kits to convert conventional switchers into RP-series locomotives, which are designed to cut fuel usage up to 35 percent and reduce air emissions up to 80 percent. The Class I’s Thoroughbred Mechanical Services division will complete the conversions at its Altoona, Pa., plant.

“The order … is part of Norfolk Southern’s effort to reduce locomotive emissions and improve the efficiency of its locomotive fleet used in rail yards and for local train service,” said NS Vice President of Mechanical Gerhard Thelen in a prepared statement, adding that NS also is evaluating battery-powered and hybrid locomotives.