A visit with NRE at Railway Interchange 2015

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Global locomotive manufacturer/remanufacturer NRE (National Railway Equipment) showcased one of its SD40-IAC road switchers at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis. Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono spoke with NRE Vice President-Engineering Michael Cross and Vice President-International Kirby Roseveare about this unit, as well as NRE’s Tier 4 certification in California and its growing international business. See the video below.

Independent axle control (IAC) is one of 4321’s distinguishing features. The locomotive’s full designation is an NR33CDE-IAC, for “3,300-hp, six-axle, dynamic extended brakes, independent axle control,” but it’s more commonly referred to as an SD40-IAC or an SD40-4. 4321 was built on an SD40-2 platform equipped with an EMD 645E3B prime-mover.

When employed in hump yard service, the DC-traction NR33CDE-IAC, according to NRE, offers a unit reduction of one locomotive over a three-unit consist of SD40-2s. This is mostly attributable to a 50% adhesion factor increase over an SD40-2, achieved with NRE’s DC chopper module and N-Force microprocessor control system. Performance, says NRE, “is equivalent to that of an AC-traction locomotive.” This locomotive can also be employed in line-haul service.

No. 4321 was a prototype. NRE outshopped it in October 2013. Its first revenue service test occurred at BNSF’s Galesburg (Ill.) yard. It also service in western Canada, on the Canadian Pacific, in coal service.

In a related development, NRE’s NREX 2015 Genset locomotive on Aug. 14, 2015 became the first locomotive to be verified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as achieving U.S. EPA Tier 4 emission standards.

CARB (California Air Resources Board) verified the locomotive at NOx (nitrous oxide) and PM (particulate matter) emission levels at or below of 1.0 and 0.01 g/bhp-hr (grams per brake horsepower-hour), respectively. This verification qualifies NRE locomotives for the Carl Moyer Emissions Grant Program, which provides locomotive-funding grants of up to 85% of the total locomotive cost, as a trade-in transaction. The California-based program requires that the locomotive manufacturer hold a Tier 4 CARB Verified Certificate.

“After a rigorous 3,000-hour test period, NRE Tier 4 Genset locomotives have been verified and now qualify for this grant program,” the company, which pioneered the genset concept, noted. “NRE is currently the only recipient of this certificate to date.”



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