Rail equipment lessor GATX took delivery of a low-emission “genset” switcher locomotive from Wabtec’s MotivePower unit, as the popular yard engines continue to spread through the rail industry.
Gensets utilize a group of truck-engine-sized power generator sets, so users can rev each piece up or shut it down separately depending on whether the locomotive needs power to pull heavy loads or is just shuttling itself across a rail yard.
By contrast, traditional yard locomotives have a single power unit that operates for all needs, so the gensets burn much less fuel and churn out much lower emissions. The buyer said this 1,400-horsepower locomotive “is expected to significantly lower emissions and provide cost savings from reduced fuel usage.”
GATX owns large fleets of various types of railcars as well as about 600 locomotives for North American railroads and their customers. The Wabtec power unit was built in Boise, Idaho, and GATX took delivery at its railcar repair facility in Colton, Calif., east of Los Angeles near San Bernardino.
Gensets are being used in more areas since they help cut concentrations of diesel emissions from train yards. Because of that, federal and state funds usually cover much of the cost. GATX’s purchase was aided by a grant from California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District.
“It is a high priority for GATX to be an industry leader in the areas of safety, health and environmental responsibility, and especially to be a good neighbor in the communities in which we operate,” said Jim Earl, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The addition of this clean, efficient locomotive,” he said, helps meet those goals.
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