Union Pacific Looks at New Generation of Environmentally Friendly Locomotives for Los Angeles Basin Rail Yards
Omaha, Neb., January 19, 2006 Union Pacific Railroad is testing an environmentally friendly prototype diesel locomotive and is asking for bids to build 60 for use in Los Angeles Basin rail yards. This is part of UP’s ongoing efforts to continue reducing air emissions in cooperation with federal, state and local environmental agencies.
The 2,100-horsepower locomotives are called "Generator-Set," or "Gen-Set," switchers. Each locomotive would be powered by three 700-horsepower, low-emissions off-road diesel engines projected to reduce emissions by up to 80 percent, while using as much as 16 percent less fuel compared to current low-horsepower locomotives. Union Pacific began studies and tests of a Gen-Set switcher locomotive in 2002. That prototype locomotive is working in Los Angeles, Calif.
"These 60 new Gen-Set yard locomotives would continue Union Pacific’s voluntary efforts, employing new technology to reduce emissions," said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific's vice president-environment and safety. "We have and will continue to work hard in building the most environmentally friendly locomotive fleet in North America. Union Pacific is committed to preserving our environment by reducing emissions."
Union Pacific is asking to receive 30 of the new low-emission, low-horsepower locomotives in 2006, with the remaining 30 in 2007. These locomotives will be used to serve customers and sort rail cars for outbound trains.
Currently, about 48 percent of Union Pacific’s more than 7,600-unit locomotive fleet is certified under existing EPA Tier 0, Tier 1 or Tier 2 regulations which govern air emissions. That gives Union Pacific the most environmentally friendly locomotive fleet in the nation.
It is anticipated that these locomotives will receive California Air Resources Board (CARB) recognition as Ultra-Low Emitting Locomotives (ULEL), in addition to exceeding U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stringent Locomotive Tier 2 standards. These ULELs are a direct result of Union Pacific’s efforts to encourage development of ever-cleaner technology by its locomotive suppliers. The ultra-low emissions of these locomotives will help Union Pacific meet its commitment to CARB to reduce its fleet average nitrous oxide emissions inside the South Coast Nonattainment Area by 2010.
In addition to the emissions reductions that the Gen-Set switchers will achieve in the South Coast, a June 30, 2005, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among CARB, Union Pacific and BNSF Railway will further reduce diesel emissions in and around the state’s rail yards. The important new agreement calls for reductions that will be greater and quicker than any that could have resulted from regulatory or state processes.
This was the second significant agreement of this type. The first one was signed in 1998 and covered nitrous oxide emissions (NOx) from locomotives. Under the first agreement, NOx levels from locomotives will be reduced by 67 percent in the South Coast Nonattainment Area. The June 2005 agreement represents the next logical step in the process and will reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions statewide.
CARB has estimated the MOU will reduce particulate emissions by approximately 20 percent at rail yards by June 2008 when all the program’s elements are phased in. Union Pacific expects to spend more than $20 million implementing the program.
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For more information, contact Mark Davis, (402) 544-5459.
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