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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

NS debuts first of new Tier-3 'Eco' locomotives


Norfolk Southern Railway officials in Atlanta yesterday unveiled the first of a new class of rail-yard locomotives developed with federal funding assistance and designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities.

NS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Manion and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal dedicated five of the locomotives during a ceremony at the Class I's Inman Yard, a major intermodal hub northwest of downtown Atlanta.

The engines are branded "Eco" locomotives because they are designed with operating efficiencies that reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The 3,000-horsepower engines meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier-3 emission standards for locomotives, NS officials said in a press release.

Norfolk Southern's 'Eco' locomotives
Photo: Norfolk Southern Railway

NS designed and built the units at its Juniata, Pa., locomotive shops using components from Electric-Motive Diesel, a division of Progress Rail Services. The project was funded in part by grants from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ).

Annually, the 10 units will account for 6.6 fewer tons of particulate matter and 155 fewer tons of nitrogen oxides pollutants, generally associated with smog and acid rain. Clean-air benefits will become even greater as more Eco locomotives are delivered to Atlanta in 2016, NS officials said.

The units unveiled yesterday feature a green paint, a Georgia-shaped icon and the slogan, "Working Together for a Cleaner State." In the future, additional CMAQ grants will result in Eco locomotives being used at the Class I's yards in Macon and Rome, Ga., and in Chicago, NS officials said.

Over the past five years, NS has significantly lowered its greenhouse gas emissions of its locomotive fleet, achieving an 8.5 percent reduction per revenue ton-mile, said Manion.

"Rollout of the Eco units demonstrates Norfolk Southern’s continuing commitment to industry leadership in sustainability best practices and environmental partnerships. Our transportation operations at Atlanta are central to serving customers throughout our network and beyond," Manion said.

In Georgia, NS employs 4,735 people and operates 1,779 rail miles.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/2/2015