ERIE, Pa.—GE Transportation unveiled the prototype for its next Evolution Series Locomotive that it says will be the first to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 emission standards.
These standards are part of the Clean Air Rules of 2004, which the EPA says address ozone and fine particle pollution, nonroad diesel emissions, and power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury.
The new locomotive will meet this standard with technological advancements versus costly exhaust additives and their accompanying infrastructure investments.
More than 5,000 Evolution Series locomotives currently operate globally. This new engine technology is the result of an initial six-year, $400-million investment, followed by a two-year, $200-million investment to hone the research, design and engineering to meet Tier 4 standards.
The EPA’s Tier 4 industry standards require reduction of locomotive emissions to curb the environmental effects typically associated with these pollutants. Effective in 2015, the EPA will require manufacturers of locomotive diesel engines to lower particulate emissions 70 per cent and NOx 76 per cent, compared to engines first introduced in 2005.
Alternative solutions would likely rely on an Urea exhaust additive, requiring railroads to build an extensive network of fueling stations across North America.
GE Transportation plans to build its Tier 4 Evolution Series locomotives at one or both of its U.S. locomotive manufacturing sites in Erie, PA and Fort Worth, TX. GE will produce its Tier 4 compliant diesel engines at its manufacturing plant in Grove City, PA.
Here are a few specifications provided by GE:
• 12-cylinder diesel engine produces 4,400 hp, the same as its 16-cylinder predecessor.
• More than 3,700 tier 3 locomotives are operating around the world.
• The Evolution Series uses up to 5% less fuel, which could equal 1.1 million litres during its lifetime.
• The new engine reduces emissions by about 40% compared to previous GE models.
• One 12-cylinder Evolution Series Locomotive can pull the equivalent of 170 Boeing 747 jetliners.
• Compared to locomotives manufactured 20 years ago, the Evolution produces 67 per cent fewer particulates and 60 per cent fewer NOx emissions.
GE Transportation currently has approximately 6,350 employees in Northwestern Pennsylvania, including 5,500 at its Erie site and 850 at its Grove City site. It has approximately 12,000 employees worldwide.