Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern collaborate on low emission Tier 4 Locomotive

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Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern Corporation have collaborated on the first EMD GP34ECO locomotive built for yard and intermediate operations.

The locomotive is currently undergoing testing to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emissions certification requirements – the highest emission standard for locomotives.

Compared to older locomotives, the GP34ECO achieves a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and offers significantly higher fuel efficiency.

The locomotive is powered by a 3,000 horsepower 12-710 EMD engine and utilizes the first diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) / selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system intended for line haul locomotive applications.

“We have a strong history of modernizing our locomotive fleet – strengthening our daily operations while furthering our sustainability goals,” commented Norfolk Southern vice president of Advanced Train Control, Tom Schnautz. “In recent years, we have collaborated with Progress Rail to upgrade more than 100 locomotives that power our road and terminal operations. This new locomotive is another step forward in our modernization journey, and we look forward to achieving Tier 4 emissions certification.”

Since 2008, Norfolk Southern and Progress Rail have repowered 50 locomotives specifically for the ECO line. New and improved EMD ECO locomotives offer lower emissions, fuel savings, and operating efficiencies. Each of these units can replace two older, less-efficient locomotives.

“The GP34ECO locomotive design was based on incorporating a Tier 4 system intended to fit our GP and SD locomotive platforms,” said Progress Rail vice president of North America rolling stock sales Ahmed Moustehy. “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plan to work with our customers to identify opportunities for other ECO programs in the future.”

Norfolk Southern will place the unit into intermediate service in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, later this year and work with Progress Rail to ensure field testing meets final emissions certification requirements.