|UP GenSet Switcher|
Union Pacific Railroad has announced a project to help reduce diesel emissions in Texas over the next 10 years by introducing 111 low-emission, fuel-efficient and hybrid locomotives for yard operations in Houston/Galveston, Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio.
The railroad will introduce the new locomotives in 2006 and 2007. These locomotives are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide and PM emissions by up to 80% while using between 20% and 40% less fuel.
RailPower designed its RP Series specifically to reduce high fuel usage in road and branchline switching operations where locomotives can use up to three times the amount consumed by yard switchers.
The RP20 locomotives come in two models, using two or three 667-hp genset engines. The two-genset model is a hybrid, operating on both the twin generators and a bank of valve regulated lead acid batteries (700 VDC nominal, 600 Ah, 500 kW).
Common DC buss control allows for maximum efficiency, and the best management of the two-engine hybrid and three-engine configurations. Depending on the power requirements of the application (road or yard), the unit will either run on battery alone (for the hybrid model), one engine, or any combination of battery and engine(s).
Having multiple smaller engines instead of a much larger single engine increases overall reliability and makes the locomotive easier to maintain, according to RailPower. The engines are skid-mounted for easy repair or replacement.
Union Pacific has ordered 18 of the twin Gen-Set hybrids, and 80 of the triple Gen-Set switchers. Union Pacific began studies and tests of a Gen-Set switcher locomotive in 2002.
The company is also purchasing 13 MP20B-3 low-emission switchers from Motive Power Industries, which are powered by 2,000-horsepower Caterpillar engines.
Union Pacific will deploy the new locomotives by 2007 with 56 units in Houston, 46 units in Dallas/Ft. Worth and 9 units in san Antonio.
During 2005, the railroad acquired more than 300 of the newest, technologically advanced low-emission road locomotives manufactured for heavy freight hauling. These new locomotives meet or exceed current EPA requirements for reduced exhaust emissions and have approximately 60 percent lower emissions of nitrogen oxides and 65 percent lower emissions of particulates than units built prior to 2000.