New Ultra-Low Emission Locomotive Goes to Work in Union Pacific's Los Angeles Basin Rail Yards

Sixty of the Environmentally Friendly Locomotives to be on the Job by July

Ultra-low emissions locomotive

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    The first of 60 new environmentally friendly locomotives to go to work in Union Pacific Los Angeles Basin rail yards was delivered to UP's Commerce yard January 31. These state-of-the-art ultra-low emissions locomotives reduce emissions of both nitrous oxides and particulate matter by up to 80 percent, while using as much as 16 percent less fuel compared to current low-horsepower locomotives.

Omaha, Neb., January 31, 2007 – Union Pacific Railroad today unveiled the first of 60 new environmentally friendly ultra-low emission diesel locomotives for use in its Los Angeles Basin rail yards. This is part of Union Pacific’s ongoing efforts to continue reducing air emissions in cooperation with federal, state and local environmental agencies.

The new 2,100-horsepower locomotives are called "Generator-Set," or "Genset" switchers. Each locomotive is powered by three 700-horsepower ultra-low emissions U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) non-road Tier 3-certified diesel engines projected to reduce emissions of both nitrous oxides and particulate matter 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 the prototype Genset switcher locomotive in 2002. That locomotive is currently working in the rail yard at Long Beach, Calif.

"These ultra-low emission yard locomotives continue Union Pacific’s voluntary efforts to go beyond air quality regulations and are the result of applying research and development of new technology to reduce emissions," said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific’s vice president-environment and safety. "Union Pacific is committed to preserving our environment by reducing emissions to help improve air quality and conserve fuel."

These new locomotives will be used to serve customers and sort rail cars for outbound trains and will replace many of the 95 older low-horsepower locomotives currently being used in Los Angeles Basin rail yards.

The 60 new low-horsepower locomotives will be delivered over the next six months from the manufacturer, National Railway Equipment Co., which is headquartered in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Union Pacific’s "Green" Fleet

Currently, about 50 percent of Union Pacific’s more than 8,500-unit locomotive fleet is certified under existing EPA Tier 0, Tier 1 or Tier 2 regulations governing air emissions. That gives Union Pacific the most environmentally friendly locomotive fleet in the nation.

Union Pacific has tested, and continues to evaluate, one other type of environmentally friendly low-horsepower rail yard locomotive called the "Green Goat." It uses state-of-the-art diesel-battery hybrid-technology designed to cut air emissions by 80 percent and reduce diesel fuel use by 16 percent compared to conventional diesel-powered locomotives used in switching service. The hybrid switcher is powered with large banks of batteries. When energy stored in the batteries is depleted to a pre-set level, a small, low-emission diesel engine automatically starts to power a generator that recharges the batteries.

The Genset and Green Goat yard locomotives have received California Air Resources Board (CARB) recognition as Ultra-Low Emitting Locomotives (ULEL), in addition to exceeding the EPA’s 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.

Union Pacific is also testing two types of "aftermarket" technologies to determine if they reduce emissions in older locomotives. They are:

  • An experimental "oxidation catalyst" filtering canister, or "Oxicat," that was installed inside the diesel engine’s exhaust manifold on a high-horsepower long-haul locomotive. This locomotive recently began a yearlong field test in the Los Angeles area, which will end in December 2007. This is the North American rail industry’s first long-haul diesel electric locomotive modified with "after-market" experimental technology aimed at reducing exhaust emissions. The special catalytic material chemically reduces the amount of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter generated by the diesel engine, much like a catalytic converter on today’s cars and trucks.
  • A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) was attached to a low-horsepower yard locomotive that is operating in Union Pacific’s Oakland rail yard. This yearlong field test, which began in December 2006, is also the North America rail industry’s first experimental "after-market" exhaust system filter to determine if it will reduce diesel engine emissions in older locomotives used in rail yards.

CARB Memorandum of Understanding

In addition to the emission reductions that the Tier 0, 1 and 2, Genset and Green Goat locomotives will achieve, 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 agreement calls for reductions that will be greater and quicker than any that could have resulted from regulatory 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 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.

About Union Pacific

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 at (402) 544-5459.

The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.