Pacific Harbor Line Becomes First All Low-Emission Railroad in U.S.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Pacific Harbor Line Inc. said it has completed renewal of its locomotive fleet, becoming the first all low-emission railroad in the nation.

All PHL locomotives now meet or exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent “Tier 2” standards to reduce air pollutants. In addition to consuming less fuel, particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions have been cut by at least 70 and 46 percent, respectively, according to PHL President Andrew Fox. PHL ran the last of its older non-low emission (pre-Tier 0) locomotives in May 2008.

The $30 million project enabled PHL to replace its fleet with 22 low- emission locomotives, beginning in May 2007. The costs were shared by PHL, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and California’s Carl Moyer Program, which is administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

PHL’s newest locomotive, No. 81, was delivered on August 29. It is one of two 3GS21C six-axle, 2,100 h.p., “GenSet” (generator set) units, built by National Railway Equipment (, Mt. Vernon, Ill. In addition, NRE built four 3GS21B four-axle GenSet units for PHL.

GenSet units

Instead of one large diesel engine running at various speeds to power a generator that supplies electricity to turn the wheels, GenSet units are equipped with three 700-h.p. Cummins diesels that can go into a “sleep mode,” until one or more diesels is needed for traction. GenSet units comply with EPA’s even more stringent Tier 3 requirements.

Sixteen PHL locomotives were built by MotivePower Inc., a subsidiary of Wabtec Corporation (NYSE:WAB) and include 14 MP20C six-axle and two MP20B four-axle locomotives. They are the first U.S. locomotives equipped with the new 2,000-h.p. MTU-Detroit Diesel V4000 engines. All MPI and NRE locomotives are painted in PHL’s black and silver color scheme.

Pacific Harbor Line is an affiliate of Anacostia & Pacific Company, Inc. ( and began operations in 1998 providing railroad switching services to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and also dispatching all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains within the ports. PHL maintains 75 miles of track owned by the two ports and serves nine on-dock intermodal terminals, plus numerous carload customers.

Railroads move about one-half of the international container freight in the Los Angeles region, Fox noted, yet contribute only six percent of the particulate emissions and are three times more fuel efficient than trucks, thus reducing greenhouse gases.

— PRNewswire