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Four New Environmentally Friendly Locomotives Goes to Work at Rail Yard

Union Pacific's most environmentally friendly yard locomotive is on the job at J. R. Davis Rail Yard in Roseville, Calif. The first of four next generation Genset locomotives arrived in Northern California this week and is already pushing rail cars into place throughout the Union Pacific yard. The switcher builds on Genset technology developed by Union Pacific over the past six years, and is part of the railroad’s ongoing efforts to continue reducing air emissions in cooperation with federal, state and local environmental agencies.

The new Genset switcher is powered by three 667-horsepower ultra-low-emission U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off-road Tier 3-certified diesel engines. The switcher is projected to cut emissions of nitrous oxides by 80 percent and particulate matter by 90 percent, while using up to 30 percent less fuel when compared to older switching locomotives. The fuel savings also translates into a reduction of greenhouse gases by up to 30 percent.

“Genset technology is just one example of the revolutionary efforts underway at Union Pacific to build and maintain the greenest locomotive fleet in the industry,” said Jim Young, chairman and chief executive officer. “The units’ innovative use of three engines allows it to produce power when needed for switching operations while reducing emissions and using less fuel. We’re not stopping here; we will continue our research and development efforts across our railroad to help us maintain our industry leading role in caring for the environment.”

Union Pacific plans to deploy four of the next generation Gensets at the Davis yard in coming months. With six traction motors, the new Gensets offer more power than the first production units, which have four motors. The two additional motors give the new switchers increased pushing power to sort rail cars and build trains within the Davis yard.

The new Gensets were partially funded with Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment program multi-district funds with the cooperation of the Sacramento Metro Air Pollution Control District, Placer County APCD, ARB and others.

Union Pacific began studies and tests of the prototype Genset switcher locomotive in 2002 and now has a total of 159 units working in California and Texas. Several other United States railroads have recently followed UP’s lead and are using similar Genset switching locomotives, while railroads in Canada, Mexico and South America are interested in the technology.

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