Wednesday, January 13, 2010

California short line taps NREC for locomotive fleet upgrade

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The California Northern Railroad (CFNR), a short line owned by Jacksonville, Fla.-based RailAmerica Inc., has converted its entire fleet to environmentally friendly locomotives with the addition of four new N-ViroMotive™ Gen-Set locomotives from National Railway Equipment Co. Funding for the purchase was available through California’s Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program, which covered 85% of the cost.

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The new locomotives, which will be in service by mid-month, are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and meet its three-tier emission standard. NREC says they are designed to reducenitrous-oxide and particulate-matter emissions by 85%-to-90%. The new locomotives also are significantly quieter compared to traditional locomotives and achievethe most stringent regulatory low-decibel noise level requirements. CFNR will be retiring its remaining older model locomotives.

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“Now that all five of California Northern Railroad’s locomotives are ultra-low emitting and more fuel efficient, having an average fuel savings of 20-to-30%, we are able to further reduce our carbon footprint while continuing to provide customers with efficient means of freight transportation,” said CFNR General Manager Don Seil.

“The public funding provided through the grant program made it financially feasible for CFNR to completely convert to energy-efficient locomotives in less than eight months. This successful private-public partnership allows us to ‘go green’ in the communities in which we operate while continuing to provide cost-effective and efficient service to customers,” said Seil.