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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Railroads, supplier, environmental agencies team up to curb locomotive emissions, fuel consumption


Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. recently installed Kim Hotstart Mfg. Co.'s Diesel Drive Heating System (DDHS) on seven Chicago-area switch-yard and road locomotives as part of a joint partnership project with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Chicago Department of Environment.

The project aims to lower locomotive emissions of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and carbon dioxide, as well as reduce train noise and improve locomotive fuel consumption.

"This is the first EPA-funded project to reduce emissions and fuel consumption in locomotive engines," said EPA Regional Administrator Tom Skinner in a prepared statement.

DDHS is designed to shut down idling locomotives while ensuring that engine fluids don't freeze.

According to Kim Hotstart data, a DDHS-equipped locomotive uses 3,121 gallons of diesel per year (costing $2,497) compared with 24,966 gallons ($19,973) for a standard locomotive. DDHS also can help reduce locomotive emissions up to 90 percent, the company says.

EPA plans to measure actual locomotive emissions during the project; Federal Railroad Administration would monitor train noise.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/24/2002