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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Goods Movement

Union Pacific and GE Transportation Host Green Locomotive Technology Tour

The Green Locomotive Technology Tour showcases current and experimental technologies that are helping reduce locomotive emissions.

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Multi-City California Tour Showcases Current and Experimental Emission-Reduction Technologies

OMAHA, Neb., February 13, 2007 – Union Pacific and General Electric today announced the Green Locomotive Technology Tour to showcase current and experimental technologies that are helping reduce locomotive emissions. The environmental rail tour will wind through California Feb. 20 - 28 with planned stops in West Colton, Fresno, Stockton, Roseville, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

At each stop, UP and GE representatives will brief federal, state and local air quality officials, regulatory and elected officials, and high school students on the companies’ leading-edge emissions reduction technologies. Guests will also receive an overview of fuel conservation initiatives and railroad safety practices along with an on-board tour of environmentally friendly locomotives.

"This tour is truly a rolling environmental laboratory that is displaying the proven technology we’re using today and the experimental technology we’re testing to help lower locomotive emissions and improve fuel economy," said Jim Young, chairman and chief executive officer, Union Pacific. "We stand by our commitment to improve the environment while delivering the products Americans need."

By the end of 2007 Union Pacific will have invested more than $5 billion to purchase new, environmentally friendly locomotives, and will have invested millions of dollars to test technologies that reduce emissions from older locomotives.

Trains, like those operated by Union Pacific, are already one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly modes of moving freight – and are three times more fuel efficient than over-the-road trucks. Investments in new technology and infrastructure have made the railroad industry environmentally "cleaner and greener" than ever before.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical over-the-road truck emits three times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates per ton-mile than a locomotive. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, if just 10 percent of intercity freight now moving by highway were shifted to rail, 2.5 million fewer tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted into the air.

"GE Transportation is proud to partner with Union Pacific on this environmental tour through California," said John M. Dineen, president and CEO, GE Transportation. "This tour demonstrates our commitment to protecting the environment by investing in technologies like GE’s Evolution Series locomotive and other fuel-saving technologies. Together, our efforts are establishing a gold standard in the industry for investing in new, reliable technologies that continue to reduce emissions and improve fuel savings."

Green Locomotive Technology Tour Featured Locomotives:

  • GE Evolution. GE Transportation invested more than $300 million and eight years of research and development in the GE Evolution Series over-the-road diesel locomotive. The result is an evolutionary diesel locomotive that incorporates the best of existing, proven diesel locomotive engineering with new advanced technologies. To date, Evolution Series technology has yielded 24 U.S. patents, 13 patents pending and 18 invention disclosures.
    • Genset switcher. UP is pioneering the new low-emission Genset switch locomotive for use in rail yards. The locomotive uses modified, Tier 3 certified off-road diesel engines and is expected to reduce NOx and particulate matter emissions by as much as 80 to 90 percent while achieving a 16 percent reduction in fuel consumption. The railroad began testing a prototype of the Genset in Long Beach in 2006; the first production unit was delivered to the Los Angeles Basin rail yards in January 2007; UP expects to have more than 160 Gensets in operation by the end of 2007.
    • Oxicat long-haul locomotive. UP is field testing an experimental oxidation catalyst (Oxicat) filter on a high-horsepower long-haul locomotive built in June 1989. The Oxicat, which operates much like a catalytic converter on today’s cars and trucks, was installed inside the diesel engine’s exhaust manifold to reduce emissions. During static testing using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, particulate emissions were reduced by approximately 50 percent with the Oxicat installed. A yearlong field test of the Oxicat is under way in the Los Angeles area. This is North America’s first older long-haul diesel locomotive modified with this particular after-market technology.
    • DPF low-horsepower yard locomotive. A diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been retrofitted on a low-horsepower UP yard locomotive built in November 1982. The DPF uses high temperature silicon carbide blocks to trap particulate matter in the exhaust and lower emissions. During static testing, particulate emissions were reduced 80 percent with the DPF installed. A yearlong field test of the DPF is underway in UP’s Oakland rail yard. This is the North America rail industry’s first experimental use of after-market technology on a yard locomotive.

    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.

    About GE Infrastructure-Transportation

    GE Infrastructure-Transportation is a unit of General Electric Company delivering technology solutions for the rail, marine, mining and energy industries. Products and services include freight and passenger locomotives, diesel engines for marine and stationary power applications and motorized systems for mining trucks and drills.

    For further information, contact James Barnes, UP, at 402-544-3560 or Shaunda Parks, GE, at 816-650-1639.



    Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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