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NREC N-ViroMotive Locomotives Achieve 40% Fuel Savings at DGNO

A two-genset, 1,400hp N-ViroMotive 2GS-14B switcher.

The Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad (DGNO), one of Rail America’s 42 short line railroads, has experienced 40% fuel savings with its new N-ViroMotive GenSet locomotives, acquired earlier this year from National Railway Equipment Co. (NREC).

The Dallas-based short line operates two 1,400hp two-GenSet units and has been operating them since early summer. The locomotives are also capable of conversion to three-GenSet units.

We are getting over 40% fuel savings compared to the two GP 38 locomotives that these GenSets replaced. They are very quiet running but the real difference in fuel savings comes from “sleep time”.

—John Rogers, DGNO’s chief mechanical officer

Rather than idling continuously like the 16-cylinder older technology GP-38s, the N-ViroMotive GenSet units automatically shut down when not under load and each engine re-starts as the load increases during operation.

Microprocessor-based electronic controls and modularized mechanical platforms control the stop-start technology that conserves engine running time, which also can decrease maintenance requirements by more than 35% and helps further reduce noise.

Founded in 1984, National Railway Equipment Co. has grown to become the world’s largest supplier of remanufactured locomotives, new and rebuilt mechanical and electrical systems and components. The company also provides locomotive field service and technical support.

In 2006 NREC introduced new ultra low emissions N-ViroMotive GenSet road switcher locomotives for domestic and international service.

The N-ViroMotive GenSet road switchers feature multiple GenSets providing 700 to 2100 horsepower with 50-65% improvement in adhesion through electronic traction motor control. They share loading between two or three independent diesel engine GenSets and use stop-start idle limiting technology (N-Limit) to combine fuel savings, ultra-low emissions and longer engine life.

Recognized by the California Air Resources Board as Ultra Low Emissions Locomotive and  EPA Tier II certified using off-road Tier III certified industrial diesel engines, the hybrids offer an approximate 80% reduction in NOx and PM emissions.





A 40% improvement compared to what? How does this compare to GE's line of eco-locomotives? Is this better or worse- and why!?


John Rogers, DGNO’s chief mechanical officer, said, “We are getting over 40% fuel savings compared to the two GP 38 locomotives that these GenSets replaced..."


I have been surprised by the railroads' lack of investment in hybrid and multiple genset technology. While Union Pacific has been keeping Railpower Tech going with orders for their multiple gensets, everyone else is intent on not investing in capital improvement. This seems to be a lack of confidence as well as the outsized influence of financial controllers over capital investment. Somehow, technological innovation seems to be dismissed as the only real path of growth amongst our railroads. Hello John Gault, and for shame.


Does the California Air Resources Board require the use of a certain percentage of Ultra Low Emissions Locomotives? The NOx and PM emission reductions are impressive...are they mandated in any way?

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