Progressive Railroading

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Rail Product News


VeRail Technologies: VR-series locomotive

"The regulatory push in California to radically improve air quality in so-called 'Disadvantaged Communities' will spur a revolutionary change in locomotive design," says VeRail Technologies Inc. CEO Peter Roosen.

"The regulators want zero and low emission track miles in ultra-sensitive residential communities that have been sorely disadvantaged by their exposure to rail and truck traffic spewing out NOx and particulate emissions," he says.

The company's locomotives have been designed to save the equivalent in NOx of more than the weight of a large African bull elephant, or well over 8 tons, according to Roosen.

The Environmental Protection Agency allows today's Tier 4 locomotives to emit 6.5 times more NOx than a post-2010 diesel truck. A Tier 4 locomotive can emit 1.3 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr) of NOx, while a Tier 4 truck can only emit 0.2 g/bhp-hr of NOx.

"VeRail's new VR-series straight natural gas locomotives are projected to put out only 10 percent of the NOx that the newest (Tier 4) diesel trucks put out," Roosen says. “The VeRail VR-series locomotive will be as clean as a battery powered truck. California calls that near-zero emissions. "

The VeRail locomotive is projected to produce only 0.02 g/bhp-hr of NOx. So, while the Tier 4 'clean' diesel locomotive produces only 1/12 the NOx of an old pre-1973 locomotive, the VeRail locomotives produce only 1/65 the NOx of the Tier 4 clean diesel and more cheaply as a retrofit, he adds.

Roosen also says there's a sound economic reason for choosing this technology: VeRail's next generation natural gas locomotives are designed to be ultra-fuel efficient.

"They are projected to use no more diesel gallon equivalents (DGEs) of fuel than a Tier 4 clean diesel. But with natural gas prices at near-record lows, the price differential between a VeRail locomotive using 30,000 DGEs of natural gas compared to a Tier 4 clean diesel locomotive using 30,000 gallons of diesel annually, can be enough to actually pay for the VeRail locomotive over its 20-year lifespan," he says.