Thursday, April 26, 2012

Progress Rail sets short line locomotive pact

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Progress Rail Services Corp. says it has reached an agreement with Exeter, Calif.-based San Joaquin Valley Railroad, a RailAmerica subsidiary, to supply four repowered, low-emissions PR30B locomotives.

Progress Rail will repower the four-axle, GP-type locomotives with Caterpillar 3516C-HD engines rated at 2,995 bhp and equipped with exhaust aftertreatment technology verified by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to achieve the equivalent of U.S. EPA Tier 4 line-haul emissions levels.

The locomotives, set to operate in the railroad's namesake California region, will be equipped with a combination Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC)/Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) emissions aftertreatment system to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, Progres Rail said. Thanks to advanced Caterpillar DOC and SCR technologies, these locomotives are the cleanest diesel locomotives in their class as verified by the California Air Resources Board.

"This project demonstrates the value and benefits that can be offered to customers by the entire range of Caterpillar's businesses. By leveraging Caterpillar, Progress Rail, and subsidiary Electro-Motive Diesel's advanced engine technologies, we were able to develop the first 3,000 horsepower, diesel-electric locomotive to achieve Tier 4 emissions levels," said Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail.

In order to bring this project to fruition, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District provided 85 percent in funding incentives as part of the Carl Moyer Program, for a total grant award of $7.1 million.

"We are thrilled that the San Joaquin Valley Railroad and RailAmerica have chosen Progress Rail to upgrade its fleet with these locomotives, which have undergone thousands of hours of durability and reliability testing to ensure they meet the most stringent of emission standards," Ainsworth said. "Compared to existing locomotives that already meet the California standards for Ultra Low Emissions Locomotives (ULEL), the new PR30B locomotive reduces NOx emissions by over 60 percent and particulate matter emissions by over 70%, making them the cleanest locomotives operating in the state."railamerica

Compared to the former San Joaquin fleet, each new locomotive will be able to operate approximately 20 days while producing the same emissions in that time period as one of the former locomotives would have generated in a single day of operation. "The San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and incentivizing innovative technology, such as these locomotives, into the valley is a key strategy in improving our air quality," stated Seyed Sadredin, executive director and APCO of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

Progress Rail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.