By Nick Gilbert
Union Pacific Railroad has announced an investment of $20 million for testing new emissions-reducing locomotive technology. In California, two Union Pacific rail yards will be the base for 25 experimental locomotives.
The testing forms a part of the Union Pacific's initiatives to reduce its emissions and make progress towards the Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards for new locomotives which have been specified by the U.S. EPA. These standards are to come into force in 2015.
The experimental locomotives have an operating range of around 200 mi. One locomotive will be used for testing the combined use of diesel particulate filtering, diesel oxidation catalyst, and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). When compared to Tier 2 standards, the present endeavor towards Tier 4 standards consists of achieving reduction of 85% in particulate matter emissions and reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions of 45%. Over the next one-and-a-half years, the California Air Resources Board and Union Pacific will collaboratively analyze the capability for reducing emissions in these locomotives.
Union Pacific is collaborating with EMD in developing these locomotives. Nine experimental locomotives are to be based in the Colton area for testing and these units are fitted with EGR technology. Fifteen units will be based in Roseville. These can be fitted with emissions reduction technologies and the EGR technology during the testing process. These locomotives are being partially funded by the Proposition 1B – Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program.
The Union Pacific has invested around $6.56 billion for acquiring new, fuel-efficient locomotives that meet EPA's latest emissions guidelines. It is also investing $200 million for upgrading older locomotives. These measures are intended to help Union Pacific reduce its emissions rate and improve fleet fuel economy.