Is this the world's greenest diesel freight train engine?

Is this the world's greenest diesel freight train engine?

Summary: The prototype for GE Transportation's next heavy-haul locomotive cuts emissions by more than 70 percent.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

GE Transportation is showing off a next-generation diesel locomotive design that aims to cut emissions by up to 70 percent. 

The new Evolution Series train, used for heavy-haul freight operations, is the first one to meet Tier 4 emission standards that have been outlined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Those standards, which go into effect in 2015, require companies making diesel train engines to cut the level of particulate emissions that they emit by 70 percent and reduce nitrogen oxide by 75 percent, compared with 2005 technology.

GE has sold more than 5,000 early editions of the Evolution locomotives.

It has invested close to $600 million over the past eight years in the new technology, which it plans to build in Erie, Pa., and Fort Worth, Texas. The big benefit of GE's approach is that it does not require an additive that will require fueling stations to be built alongside rail infrastructure.

The current political climate does not bode well for emissions regulations, though, so hopefully GE will ultimately be able to justify that investment.

Here's more on the technology:

Topic: Emerging Tech

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  • HUH???

    "Here's more on the technology:"

    Huh? I watched he video and it was nothing but a commercial.. This is a tech site, maybe you should write about the tech insted of putting corporate commercials up. Just a thought...
  • electric traction

    Electric locomotives have been around since the 1930s.
    Is it better to buy green locomotives or invest in overhead wires?
    It might be easier to reduce the emissions at the power station due to economies of scale. But if the rail line doesn't have the overhead, then it's a huge investment.
    • Electric traction

      The problem with overhead wires is maintenance and where to get the power in the middle of nowhere. Think of a diesel engine as an electric locomotive with a portable generator, and you're closer to understanding modern railroading. American locomotives are the best in the world, bar none.
      Tony Burzio
      • Yeah. Except

        For that last statement.

        Our locos are good, but not the best - there is no single "best".

        USAian locos are best for USAian railroading, but would not be particularly well-suited to European railroading...
    • You've never been to the American west, have you?

      The UP, BNSF and other railroads have thousands of miles of trackage crossing areas in which there is little else but open range, wheat fields, desert, mountain passes, wind mills and unobstructed high winds. Maintaining overhead wires across places like Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California would be a constant headache.
  • For those interested

    The most common of the fuel additives used by other solutions referred to is urea, which is not added to the fuel, but injected at some point in the combustion process.
    • Removing urea

      So that's how they are removing all that nitrogen.

      Do we need to explain the rest of the chemical/mechanical process, and how that's safer too?
  • Why the dismissive statement about the political climate?

    Part of reducing emissions is probably achieved by increasing fuel efficiency. Greener is greener and promoting this technology also has a positive public relations effect.

    If the railroads see a cost/benefit advantage to the new locomotives, they will buy them. If there's not, the RRs can still purchase the previous prime mover in their locomotives. Custom building locomotives is the norm. Improving AC traction motors and other electronic/electrical components are a benefit regardless.

    Making railroads better, safer and faster reduces long haul truck traffic as more and more trailers and shipping containers make their way cross-country on rail. That benefits everybody (in terms of safety and highway/bridge maintenance) that uses the interstate system.

    Disclaimer: Not a GE employee. I have been involved in long haul trucking and peripherally with the railroad industry, moving locomotive used/new/rebuilt parts between GE maintenance facility in Kansas City to/from GE plants in Grove City and Erie, PA.
  • Shipping Services

    Great information! I like it. shipping services