Norfolk Southern (NS) and Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, have teamed on the first GP34ECO locomotive for yard and intermediate service; it is now undergoing testing to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emissions certification requirements, the companies reported on Sept. 30.
Powered by a 3,000-h.p. 12-710 EMD engine, the GP34ECO uses the “first diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) / selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system intended for line haul locomotive applications,” NS and Progress Rail said. The unit also offers a new crashworthy cab and new cab electronics.
Since 2008, NS and Progress Rail have repowered 50 locomotives specifically for the ECO line. “New and improved EMD ECO locomotives offer lower emissions, fuel savings and operating efficiencies,” they reported. “Each of these units can replace two older, less-efficient locomotives.”
“The GP34ECO locomotive design was based on incorporating a Tier 4 system intended to fit our GP and SD locomotive platforms,” said Ahmed Moustehy, Vice President of North America Rolling Stock Sales for Progress Rail.
A 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and “significantly higher fuel efficiency” are achieved with the GP34ECO, according to NS and Progress Rail.
The unit is slated to enter intermediate service in Harrisburg, Pa., later this year, and NS will work with Progress Rail “to ensure field testing meets final emissions certification requirements.”
NS assembled the locomotive core at its Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pa. The Class I railroad, together with the Progress Rail and Caterpillar engineering teams, performed final assembly, engine and SCR aftertreatment system work.
“We have a strong history of modernizing our locomotive fleet—strengthening our daily operations while furthering our sustainability goals,” NS Vice President of Advanced Train Control Tom Schnautz said. “In recent years, we have collaborated with Progress Rail to upgrade more than 100 locomotives that power our road and terminal operations. This new locomotive is another step forward in our modernization journey, and we look forward to achieving Tier 4 emissions certification.”
Moustehy added: “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plan to work with our customers to identify opportunities for other ECO programs in the future.”