|UP Genset locomotive.|
Union Pacific (UP) will replace the majority of switch locomotives used at its Commerce, California rail yard with new ultra-low emission diesel locomotives from Railpower by the end of July. Each locomotive is powered by three 700-horsepower engines.
The 2,100-horsepower, EPA non-road Tier 3-certified Genset locomotives are projected to reduce emissions of both oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter by up to 80%, while using as much as 16% less fuel compared to current low-horsepower locomotives. (Earlier post.)
Union Pacific announced in January the delivery of the first of 60 Genset switch locomotives the railroad had purchased for use in California. These new locomotives will be used to serve customers and sort rail cars for outbound trains and will replace many of the 95 older low-horsepower locomotives currently being used in Los Angeles Basin rail yards.
Ten of the 60 will be working at the Commerce rail yard, which serves the ports of LA and Long Beach. Four of these locomotives will work moving rail cars to tracks for loading or unloading intermodal containers or move rail cars onto a track to assemble an outbound train. The six remaining Genset locomotives are used to sort rail cars for outbound trains and deliver rail cars to local Los Angeles-based customers.
The Genset locomotives have helped UP reduce overall emissions in its Commerce, LATC (northeast Los Angeles) and Mira Loma yards by 28% while accommodating strong growth in the volume of goods and materials moved through the yards. The railroad achieved these reductions using a combination of new technology, operational changes and new equipment and working closely with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in a cooperative effort.
Since the 2005 baseline year evaluated in the CARB’s Health Risk Assessments for UP’s Commerce, LATC and Mira Loma yards, the company has already achieved more than a 17% reduction in emissions. By 2010, those same facilities will achieve a 30% reduction in emissions from 2005 levels.
Taken together with projected emission reductions of an additional 25% over the next 10 years, UP expects to achieve an overall emissions reduction of approximately 55% for the period from 2005 to 2020 at these three yards.
Union Pacific has reduced emissions through the following efforts:
Fleet Turnover, Reducing Emissions. Since January 2000, UP has purchased more than 2,600 new fuel-efficient locomotives that comply with new, stricter US EPA Tier 0, Tier 1 and Tier 2 standards. At the same time, more than 1,700 older units were retired, and another 1,800 locomotives were overhauled (remanufactured) to meet the stricter standards.
Auto Start-Stop Installations. UP now has more than 3,000 locomotives, or 34% of its fleet, with computer-controlled devices that limit engine idling to only the time necessary to ensure safe and reliable operation. Approximately 75% of the locomotives permanently assigned to the Southern California area are now equipped with this technology.
Fuel Efficiency Improvements. Through fleet turnover and other improvements, UP has achieved more than a 12% improvement in fuel efficiency since 1995.
Fuel Quality. More than 99% of all fuel dispensed into locomotives in California is Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD).
The company plans to expand the use of advanced yard locomotives such as the Genset or hybrid locomotives, with reductions in fuel consumption of 16% and reductions of NOx and PM of as much as 80-90%.