Union Pacific Unveils Low Emissions Hybrid Locomotive


All aboard to clean up heavy-duty diesel engines.

Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) today unveiled an experimental locomotive that will test three emissions-reducing technologies – exhaust gas recirculation, diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters. While automotive enthusiasts might snicker about how far behind heavy-duty diesel engines are lagging what are now virtually emissions free automobiles, the new locomotive is a significant step toward meeting so called EPA Tier 4 emission standards that are finally addressing large commercial vehicles.

The locomotive, UP 9900, will be used for operations in northern California ranging about 200 miles from its base in Roseville. UP 9900 is one of 25 locomotives that Union Pacific is analyzing as part of a test of emissions-reduction technologies in California. Yes, they are working on the railroad.

UP engineers worked with locomotive manufacturer Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD once part of General Motors) to reduce the standard freight locomotive engine size to create the space needed to install the EGR, catalysts and diesel particulate filters. These are so called after treatment technologies because they clean up the diesel engine mess, after the heavy oil fuel is burned.

It is predicted that UP 9900 will eventually provide a 45% reduction in oxides of nitrogen compared to the Tier 2 standard and an 85% reduction in particulate matter emissions. Union Pacific and the California Air Resources Board will analyze the locomotive’s emissions-reductions effectiveness during the next 18 months.

UP 9900 will be available for public viewing on Saturday 29 September 29 and Sunday 30 September in Old Sacramento as part of the railroad’s celebration, Union Pacific – Building America for 150 Years.  The event commemorates the 150 years that have passed since President Abraham Lincoln created the original Union Pacific by signing the Pacific Railway Act of 1 July 1862. UP says it is the most elaborate event staged in the Western United States as part of its sesquicentennial year. More information about Building America for 150 Years celebration is available at www.up150.com and www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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