Union Pacific Announces Project to Reduce Diesel Emissions in Texas Over 10 Years

Project will introduce low-emission, fuel-efficient locomotives in Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio

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Omaha, Neb., October 14, 2005 – Union Pacific Railroad announced today a project to help reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in Texas over the next 10 years by introducing low-emission, fuel-efficient locomotives for yard operations in Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio.

With the assistance of an incentive from the state of Texas to help improve air quality in the state, Union Pacific’s plan will introduce 111 new technology locomotives in 2006 and 2007. These locomotives are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent while using as much as 16 percent less fuel.

"Our new low-emission yard locomotives are the next chapter in Union Pacific’s voluntary efforts to reduce emissions," said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific's vice president-environment and safety. "We have worked hard to build the most environmentally friendly locomotive fleet in North America, and we are committed to preserving our environment by reducing pollution."

Ninety-eight of these low-emission rail yard locomotives, called the "Generator-Set," or "Gen-Set," switchers, will be built by RailPower Technologies Corp. The units are powered by two or three state-of-the-art small diesel engines commonly used in over-the-road trucks. Each engine turns a generator that produces electricity for motors connected to the axles of the locomotive wheels.

The two or three 700-horsepower engines used to turn the electric generators in these low-emission locomotives are projected to achieve up to an 80 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The two-engine models are hybrid locomotives, operating both on the twin diesel engines and a bank of batteries that provides additional power.

Union Pacific began studies and tests of a Gen-Set switcher locomotive in 2002. UP’s purchase order with RailPower calls for delivery of 80 triple Gen-Set road switchers and 18 twin Gen-Set road switchers.

The incentive grant also allowed for the purchase of 13 MP20B-3 low-emission switchers from Motive Power Industries, which are powered by 2,000-horsepower Caterpillar engines.

By mid-2007, Union Pacific will introduce the new locomotives as follows:

  • 56 units in Houston
  • 46 units in Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • 9 units in San Antonio

With more than 7,000 locomotives, Union Pacific continues to strengthen the nation’s most environmentally friendly fleet. Since January 2000, the railroad has acquired more than 2,000 new fuel-efficient locomotives that comply with stricter EPA standards, and has retrofitted more than 1,000 of its older locomotives to meet the higher standards. During the same period, 1,300 older locomotives were retired.

During 2005, the railroad acquired more than 300 of the newest, technologically advanced low-emission road locomotives manufactured for heavy freight hauling. These new locomotives meet or exceed current EPA requirements for reduced exhaust emissions and have approximately 60 percent lower emissions of nitrogen oxides and 65 percent lower emissions of particulates than units built prior to 2000. 

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 further information, contact Joe Arbona, Union Pacific, 281-350-7771 (w) and 832-257-4363 (c) or Andy Saenz, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 512-239-5018.

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.