Thursday, July 16, 2009

Caltrans touts EMD “green” machines

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California’s Department of Transportation will officially dedicate a “green” locomotive July 22, part of the Amtrak California service fleet, that it says reduces locomotive emissions.

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The locomotive is an F59PHI originally built by Electro-Motive Diesel in October 2001.  EMD has installed its 710ECO™Repower upgrade package with the latest microprocessor-controlled locomotive engine technology for lower emissions, increased fuel economy, greater reliability, and predictable maintenance costs. The upgraded locomotive will now achieve EPA Tier 2 emissions performance, two levels cleaner than required for this model, Caltrans said.

The July 22 ceremony, scheduled to occur at Sacramento Valley Station, “marks the beginning of cleaner diesel technology on Californiapassenger railroads, a longtime ambition of Caltrans in its quest to go green,” Caltrans said in a statement. “The newly upgraded locomotive has recently begun operating between Sacramento and the Bay Area along the Capitol Corridor route.”

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Said Caltrans Director Will Kempton, “This is really a big step for Caltrans. We took a proactive role to get a cleaner locomotive on the tracks, and we’re proud to see this project through. It aligns with Governor Schwarzenegger's objectives to clean up Caltrans’ carbon footprint, and it contributes to the bigger goal of California going green.”

“We at EMD are pleased to offer a product that can benefit Californians in many ways,” said John Hamilton, president and CEO of Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. “The 710ECO™ Repower solution allows Caltrans to achieve its aggressive emissions reduction and performance goals, while extending the locomotive service lives to leverage its fleet investment.”

Amtrak California operates 15 F59PHI locomotives; the goal is to convert the entire fleet, eventually reducing operating emissions by nearly 50%.  
 
Caltrans noted the effort was made in cooperation with numerous partners, including the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Amtrak, the California Air Resources Board, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and EMD.