Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern unite on latest Tier 4 locomotive

Posted: 4 October 2021 | | No comments yet

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, and Norfolk Southern Corporation have collaborated on the first EMD GP34ECO (Tier 4) locomotive designed and built for yard and intermediate operations.

Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern unite on latest Tier 4 locomotive

EMD GP34ECO locomotive. Credit: Norfolk Southern.

The locomotive is currently undergoing testing to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emissions certification requirements – the highest emission standard for locomotives. Compared to older locomotives, the GP34ECO achieves a 90 per cent 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 utilises the first diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) / selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system, intended for line haul locomotive applications.

Norfolk Southern assembled the locomotive core in Altoona, Pa., at the company’s Juniata Locomotive Shop. Together, with Progress Rail and Caterpillar engineering teams, they performed final assembly, engine, and SCR aftertreatment system work. In addition to the Cat® aftertreatment control system, the locomotive includes a new crashworthy cab and electronics.

“We have a strong history of modernising our locomotive fleet – strengthening our daily operations while furthering our sustainability goals,” commented Tom Schnautz, Norfolk Southern Vice President of Advanced Train Control. “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 modernisation 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.

Ahmed Moustehy, Progress Rail Vice President of North America Rolling Stock Sales commented: “The GP34ECO locomotive design was based on incorporating a Tier 4 system intended to fit our GP and SD locomotive platforms. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plan to work with our customers to identify opportunities for other ECO programmes in the future.”

Norfolk Southern will place the unit into intermediate service in Harrisburg, Pa., later this year (2021) and work with Progress Rail to ensure field testing meets final emissions certification requirements.

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