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12/23/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

GETS unveils 'Evolution' series of environmentally friendly locomotives


In 1996, GE Transportation Systems (GETS) began designing a locomotive that would meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-mandated emissions regulations for the rail industry — the so-called "Tier Two" requirements — by 2005.

On Dec. 23, GETS announced that it had met its goal two years ahead of schedule, unveiling what EPA Administrator Christine Whitman considers the "cleanest diesel fuel powered engine ever made."

Dubbed "the Evolution Series," the 4,400-horsepower, 12-cylinder diesel engine locomotives reduce emissions 40 percent from levels current locomotives produce, GETS said in a prepared statement. The units also feature a platform that can be upgraded to meet EPA regulations beyond 2005, and they burn less fuel than any other diesel electric locomotive, according to GETS, which so far has invested $200 million developing the Evolution series.

"Thousands of [Evolution] units will be in operation over the next decade," GETS President and Chief Executive Officer John Krenicki Jr. said during a press conference at the company’s Erie, Pa., headquarters. "They’ll have a tremendously positive impact on the environment — and on the wallets of our locomotive customers."

At the press conference, EPA Administrator Whitman congratulated GETS for the "good it has done and is doing for the future of rail transportation." By getting an early start, GETS "will have a substantial number of these units in service before 2005, and will set an example for others to follow," she said.

GETS initially plans to implement the Evolution technology in freight engines, but the technology eventually will be incorporated into passenger rail locomotives, Krenicki said.













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