BNSF Railway on August 17 rolled out the first two of 11 National Railway Equipment Co. N-ViroMotive GenSet switcher locomotives it’s deploying in Southern California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa at the BNSF diesel locomotive facility in Commerce, Calif., where they toured the retrofitted units during a Building America’s Future (BAF) coalition event. Schwarzenegger, Rendell, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed BAF in 2008 to “rally support for a renewed federal commitment to fund America's infrastructure needs with state partners.”
The GenSets were built with $7 million in BNSF funds and $9 million in federal funds administered through the California Air Resources Board. Compared to the 1970s-era locomotives from which they were rebuilt, they offer up to a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency and 90% and 80% reductions in PM (Particulate Matter) and NOx, respectively.
Schwarzenegger discussed how California is investing in infrastructure upgrades that will help improve air quality and increase economic competitiveness. “I have made investing in infrastructure a top priority in California because infrastructure is the key to continued prosperity,” he said. “Investment in our roads, bridges, highways, and railways will lead to job creation and further our competitiveness in the global economy.”
BAF (www.BAFuture.org) is described as “a national and bipartisan coalition dedicated to smart infrastructure investment and reform-energy systems, roads and bridges, mass transit, water and sewer systems, rail, ports, airports, levees and dams, schools, and housing-to enhance the quality of life and safety of our communities, create jobs and economic growth, and promote energy independence.”
(Photo by David Lustig for BNSF and Railway Age)