BNSF Places Ultra-Low-Emissions Locomotives in Service in DFW and Houston

FORT WORTH, Texas — BNSF Railway Company today announced that it has placed 67 GenSet switch locomotives in service for the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston areas.

The GenSets were acquired through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) Program, which provides grants to eligible projects in non-attainment areas and affected counties.

The GenSet locomotive is a low-horsepower switch locomotive with three engines that operate only as needed, potentially reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 80 to 90 percent and improving fuel efficiency by 15 percent over standard switch engines.

“BNSF is pleased to have received this funding as part of the TCEQ’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP),” said Mark Stehly, assistant vice president, Environmental and Research and Development. “Rail transportation is the most environmentally friendly form of surface transportation, the most fuel-efficient mode, and the most effective way to reduce congestion on our nation’s highway. Not only can rail help to improve air quality in non-attainment areas such as Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, it is the most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet our future energy needs.”

“Although major strides have been made, and continue to be made, with respect to reductions in industrial point source emissions, the overall air quality problems will only truly be addressed if there are additional reductions in areas such as mobile sources,” said Donna Phillips, regional director, TCEQ Houston Region Office. “The positive effect of voluntary emission reductions through participation in programs such as TERP cannot be overstated.”

In addition to the delivery of the GenSets, over the last decade, BNSF has acquired about 2,700 low-emissions, more fuel-efficient locomotives, replacing a significant portion of its 6,400-engine road and switch fleets. One type of locomotive that BNSF has acquired is the GE Evolution Services locomotive.

“GE Transportation invested approximately $400 million to develop the Evolution Series locomotive over an eight-year period. Entering the market in 2005, the Evolution Series locomotive is now the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and eco-friendly diesel-electric locomotive in history. It delivers up to 5 percent higher fuel efficiency and a 40 percent reduction in emissions over its predecessor,” said Barry K. Hall, TST Sales Leader, GE Transportation. “The Evolution Series locomotive serves as one of GE’s first products to be certified as part of its Ecomagination initiative. Ecomagination is a company wide commitment to developing technology designed to help customers satisfy environmental challenges, to maximize performance and reduce cost.”

— Special to Railfanning.org News Wire