Union Pacific and Progress Rail Services Sign Agreement to Initiate First Testing of Green Technology in Intermediate-Haul Locomotives

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad has signed an agreement with Progress Rail Services, a Caterpillar company, to test five SD40-2 locomotives originally built in the 1970’s that have been remanufactured with 3,005-horsepower low-emission diesel engines. These locomotives will meet Tier 2 emissions standards, incorporate new emission control technologies, and will be the first ever tested for intermediate-haul routes.

The prototypes are powered by Caterpillar model 3516, 3005- horsepower diesel engines. They have more power than the typical 2000- horsepower 4-axle Genset “switch” locomotive used around terminals, but are less powerful than the 4400- horsepower 6-axle “line haul” locomotives used for transcontinental freight service. Union Pacific will operate these locomotives in typical regional service in the Mid west and in California. The tests will begin later this year and continue over a 12-month period.

“This is another example of UP’s commitment to collaborate with our engine manufacturers to identify, develop and acquire more environmentally friendly locomotives while still meeting our operational needs” said Bob Grimaila – senior assistant vice president Safety and Environment. “This particular project will allow us to evaluate their ability to perform demanding rail operations, establish the maintenance requirements of the Cat engines and determine their emissions characteristics and the potential for further emissions reductions.”

“Progress Rail believes that it is essential to bring proven Cat technologies to the railroad industry,” said Billy Ainsworth, president, Progress Rail Services. “Caterpillar is an established leader in clean diesel technology, including stationary power generation, large mining and construction equipment markets. By leveraging that expertise we will be able to provide our customers with cutting-edge technology that contributes to their long-term sustainability goals.”

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) supports the development of these locomotives, and is providing funding and monitoring the progress of the emission testing.

“We are pleased to partner with Union Pacific and Progress Rail, and applaud them on their voluntary efforts” said Mary Nichols, ARB chairman. “This is another of several ongoing efforts by our agency to investigate promising technologies that would improve air quality for Californians throughout the state.”

— Business Wire