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Rail News: Mechanical

Richmond Pacific Railroad unveils newly retrofitted, environmentally friendly switcher


On Wednesday, local and state government, and Richmond Pacific Railroad officials held a ceremony in Richmond, Calif., to commemorate a recently retrofitted, environmentally friendly locomotive.

Earlier this year, Rail Systems Inc. technicians and Richmond Pacific workers retrofitted an EMD SW1200 switcher built in 1965 with a Rail Systems’ low-emissions package designed to reduce air pollutants emitted by the locomotive’s diesel engine. Known as locomotive #2285, the switcher now meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tier 0” emission standards. The technicians and workers also installed ZTR Control Systems Inc.’s SmartStart anti-idling device on the locomotive.

Officials at the 11-mile short line estimate the retrofit will reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions by 10 tons and particulate matter pollution by hundreds of pounds during the switcher’s lifespan.

To help fund the $200,000 project, Richmond Pacific officials last year obtained a $148,000 air quality program grant from the state of California. During the next three years, the short line plans to similarly retrofit its three other switchers.

Richmond Pacific, which moved 7,600 carloads in 2006, interchanges with BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2007