Automotive and Aviation Engineers Recognize Union Pacific for Creating Environmentally Friendly Locomotive
Editor's note – Since this story was written, Union Pacific introduced four "next generation" Genset switcher locomotives at its Roseville, Calif., rail yard in May 2008. These diesel locomotives are used in the rail yard to push rail cars over an incline, or hump, where gravity then propels the cars to destination-specific tracks. The new Gensets provide increased power with six traction motors, while maintaining the environmentally friendly standards of the previous four-traction motor models. Also, there has been an update to the emission and fuel saving data – The Genset switcher reduces emissions of nitrous oxides by 80 percent and particulate matter by 90 percent.
Omaha, Neb., May 22, 2007 The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has recognized Union Pacific for pioneering the development of a new type of rail yard locomotive that significantly reduces emissions and fuel consumption. The railroad's ultra-low-emitting Generator-Set, or Genset, switcher locomotive technology has received SAE International's Environmental Excellence in Transportation (E2T) award in the mobility and engine emissions category. SAE is a worldwide standards-setting organization devoted to mobility engineering in the automotive, aerospace, aviation and off-road industries. "It is truly an honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization that shares our deep-rooted concern about the environment," said Bob Grimaila, vice president-Environment and Safety for Union Pacific. "We are committed to preserving our environment, and as part of that commitment are actively developing and purchasing new technologies to improve air quality and conserve fuel."
Union Pacific began planning for a prototype Genset switcher locomotive in 2002; that prototype was delivered to UP in December 2005. In January 2007, the railroad received the first of 60 production Genset locomotives that will operate in the Los Angeles Basin. The new 2,100-horsepower locomotives are powered by three 700-horsepower ultra-low emissions U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) non-road Tier 3-certified diesel engines that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, particulate matter by 90 percent, while using as much as 16 percent less fuel compared to current low-horsepower locomotives. The fuel savings of a Genset switcher also translate into at least 16 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
By the end of 2007, the railroad expects to have 159 Genset switcher locomotives in operation, 61 in the Los Angeles area and 98 across the state of Texas.
Union Pacific's Genset 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.
SAE International's E2T awards, established in 2000, recognize individuals, or groups of individuals, who through their ingenuity and dedication make significant innovations in reducing the environmental impact of the transportation industry. These innovative achievements may occur in motorized vehicle fuels, alternative propulsion methods, fuel usage, materials, energy usage, manufacturing methods, logistics support, as well as in education, training and improving public awareness. The key criteria for recognition are innovation, originality, demonstrated significant favorable impact on the environment and improvement over any existing technologies, methods and public acceptance.
Last year's E2T award winner in the mobility and engine emissions category was Honda Motor Car Company for the 2005 Accord hybrid automobile.
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.
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