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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP to acquire 60 'Gen-Set' switchers for L.A. yards


Union Pacific Railroad is taking bids on 60 environmentally friendly “Generator-Set” locomotives the Class I plans to use at its Los Angeles Basin yards. The successful bidder will be required to build and deliver 30 Gen-Set switchers by year end and deliver the remaining units next year.

Powered by three 700-horsepower, off-road diesel engines, the 2,100-horsepower locomotives will be designed to reduce emissions up to 80 percent and cut fuel usage up to 40 percent compared with conventional switchers. UP currently is testing a prototype Gen-Set locomotive in L.A.

Currently, about half of UP’s 7,600 locomotives are certified under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tier 0,” “Tier 1” or “Tier 2” emission regulations. The Gen-Set switchers would exceed Tier 2 standards.

In June 2005, UP, BNSF Railway Co. and the state of California signed an agreement to reduce locomotives’ particulate matter (PM) emissions. State officials expect PM emissions in rail yards to drop 20 percent by June 2008. In 1998, the parties signed an agreement to reduce locomotives’ nitrous oxide emissions — a pact that led to a 67 percent drop in the air-polluting gas.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/20/2006