Thursday, May 21, 2009

UP, Progress Rail to test ultra clean diesels in service

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Union Pacific and Progress Rail Services Thursday announced their intent to launch initial operation of an ultra clean diesel SD40-2 locomotive equipped for intermediate line haul service. The customer evaluation unit, equipped with state-of-the-art after-treatment, will begin operating between San Antonio and Fort Worth, Tex., late this month.

The companies said the Progress Rail PR30C-LoNOx locomotive has been re-powered with a single 3,005 horsepower, low-emission, Caterpillarclean-diesel engine. It meets EPA’s Tier 2 standards and is retrofitted with an advanced emission control technology. That technology routes the exhaust through a diesel oxidation catalystprior to entering the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) chamber, where oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are reduced by more than 90% from the original 1970s vintage engine.

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“We are excited about the prospects of bringing more environmentally friendly locomotives into service while still meeting ouroperational needs,” said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific senior assistant vice president, Safety and Environment. “We know there are challenges ahead as we evaluate performance under demanding rail operations, but we remain committed to support this project and commend our partners, Caterpillar and Progress Rail Services, for their collaborative efforts in developing this promising technology.”

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Progress Rail Services CEO Billy Ainsworth said, “The use of after treatment to reach these levels of emissions is new territory for the rail industry and we are pleased to be the first with SCR for large mobile engine applications.”

He continued, “By leveraging the expertise of Caterpillar, an established leader in clean diesel technology, we are confident we can bring this cutting-edge technology to the railroad industry just as we have been providing it in other applications. Additional prototypes, all powered by Caterpillar model 3516, 3005 horsepower diesel engines, will be retrofitted and tested with this system, making them among the cleanest locomotives in America. The durability and performance of the unit will be closely monitored and evaluated over a six-month period to ensure safe and dependable operations.”