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NS orders four more Cat-powered locomotives

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Norfolk Southern on Wednesday announced the order of four additional EPA Tier 2 compliant, high-horsepower locomotives, designated the PR43C and powered by new generation Caterpillar engines.

The new locomotives will feature upgraded traction systems, control systems, and modernized cabs.

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Norfolk Southern noted that in 2008 it joined Progress Rail Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., in a cooperative effort to develop the PR43C locomotive.

“Since then, two PR43C prototype locomotives have been built and placed in service on the Norfolk Southern system,” said the railroad. “These locomotives have been closely monitored during a series of developmental and operational testing.”

The PR43C locomotives are claimed to be “unique in the industry.” Remanufactured from reusable locomotive cores, they have a dual-engine configuration. The primary engine, a Caterpillar C-175 rated at 3,600 horsepower, and a secondary engine, a Caterpillar C-18 rated at 700 horsepower, work in tandem to power the locomotive.

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“By rebuilding the PR43C from a reusable locomotivecore and providing 4,300 total horsepower, the PR43C locomotive serves as an environmentally friendly solution for the rail industry,” said NS.

“The PR43C’s performance is optimized for the current duty cycle and operational needs of the railroads,” said Ken Hofacker, senior vice-president of locomotive development for Progress Rail. “Our concept of large and small diesel engines working intelligently together maximizes fuel savings while minimizing emissions and lowering life-cycle costs.”

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