Union Pacific is upgrading 10 locomotives to EPA Tier 4 switchers

Posted: 2 May 2018 | | 1 comment

Union Pacific has worked closely with Progress Rail since 2015 on an updated, emission-reducing Tier 4 switcher design and now it will be used to update the fleet…

Union Pacific locomotives

To repower 10 low horsepower diesel-electric locomotives into new EPA Tier 4 switchers, for its yard switching locomotive fleet beginning in autumn 2018, Union Pacific has partnered with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

The new switchers will reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions during operation by more than 90 per cent in comparison to older locomotives.

Tier 4 technology is the EPA’s cleanest locomotive emissions standard. Utilising its multi-engine Genset locomotive, Union Pacific is the only Class 1 railroad operating Tier 4 switchers and the first Class 1 to pursue Tier 4 repowers.

“Reducing diesel emissions is an essential element of the Air District’s continuing efforts to protect public health in communities that are highly impacted by the Bay Area’s freight movement infrastructure,” said Jack Broadbent, Air District Executive Officer.

The new single-engine locomotives are designed to ultimately replace the Genset concept Union Pacific, pioneered in 2005.

“The new low-power switchers will be an invaluable addition to our fleet,” said Mike Iden, Union Pacific Director of Locomotive Engineering. “The coordination with Progress Rail and our partnerships with the Air Districts are pivotal in ensuring this new technology comes online to provide environmental benefits to our California operations.”

Funding for the initiative was made possible through the Proposition 1B: Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program (GMERP), a partnership between the California Air Resources Board and local Air Districts, aimed at incentivising freight-moving equipment owners to upgrade to cleaner technologies.

The switcher units are currently being repowered at a Progress Rail facility in Patterson, Georgia and will start joining Union Pacific’s yard locomotive fleet in the Bay Area and Sacramento later in 2018.

One response to “Union Pacific is upgrading 10 locomotives to EPA Tier 4 switchers”

  1. Dave says:

    Are the switchers being repoweted by EMD engines, CAT engines, or “other”? Thank you.

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