December 14, 07
Union Pacific’s EcoTrain is 60% Greener and Uses 30% Less Fuel

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Union Pacific Corp. has announced results of a program to test ultra-low emission switch locomotives.

TCEQ and Union Pacific say a 57 percent "over-achievement of the contracted goal for emission reduction in Texas" has been reached with the help of new environmentally friendly Genset locomotives.

Developed with incentives from the TCEQ's Texas Emission Reduction Program to help improve air quality in the state (with a contracted goal for emission reduction), Union Pacific is operating the ultra-low emission switch locomotives in rail facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio metro areas.

Union Pacific, whose principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country, began the test program using the locomotive in 2002. Today, the company has of 159 of these types of units, which are also serving facilities in California.

Manufactured by Montreal, Quebec-based Railpower Technologies Corp.(TSX:P), the 98 new, 2,000-horsepower "Generator-Set" or "Genset" locomotives are powered by three 667-horsepower, ultra-low emissions, EPA Tier 3-certified, off-road diesel engines. Each engine turns a generator that produces electricity for motors connected to the axles of the locomotive wheels.

Of the 98 switch locomotives, 46 units are serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, 43 units are serving the Houston metro area, and nine units are serving the San Antonio metro area.

When compared to older units being replaced, each ultra-low emission switch locomotive reduces nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 54 percent to 63 percent, according to a news release from Union Pacific, while using about 30 percent less fuel. The fuel savings also mean a reduction of greenhouse gases of about 30 percent.