OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad and Progress Rail Services announced that the ultra-clean diesel PR30C-LoNOx locomotive being tested in intermediate line haul service has successfully achieved more than 500 operational hours. The locomotive — powered by a 3516 Caterpillar engine — has been retrofitted with a state-of-the-art after-treatment system, making it one of the cleanest locomotives operating in the United States.
The prototype intermediate line haul locomotive has more power than the typical 2000-horsepower 4-axle Genset “switching” locomotive used around terminals, but is less powerful than the 4400-horsepower 6-axle “line haul” locomotives used for transcontinental freight service. Union Pacific plans to operate these locomotives in typical regional service in the Midwest and in California.
“This is a critical milestone for us in our efforts to bring more environmentally friendly locomotives into revenue service,” said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific senior assistant vice president, Safety and Environment. “Investing in the latest technology that is capable of meeting the demanding requirements of rail operations is essential. This important benchmark is one more positive step in a challenging process to develop new technology that will meet EPA’s future emission standards.”
The Progress Rail PR30C-LoNOx Locomotive has been re-powered with a single 3,005 horsepower, low-emission, Caterpillar clean-diesel engine. It meets EPA’s Tier 2 standards and is retrofitted with an advanced emission control technology. That technology routes the exhaust through a diesel oxidation catalyst prior to entering the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) chamber, where oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are reduced by nearly 75 percent from current standards for new locomotives.
In early testing, the SCR after-treatment system continues to perform as intended, with only minor issues encountered and those have been limited to ones which would be anticipated with this type of technology launch. With the 500-service hour milestone complete, the development team will focus its efforts on the all-important 1,000-hour service plateau. This durability and performance testing will continue in Texas for the next several weeks to ensure safe and dependable performance before the unit begins operating in revenue service in California in the fourth quarter.
“We share in the excitement of achieving this milestone,” said Billy Ainsworth, CEO, Progress Rail Services. “But more importantly, we are confident in the expertise, history of quality and cutting-edge innovation of a market leader like Caterpillar to help us deliver the dependable and durable products that our rail customers demand.”