Diesel-powered trucks won’t be the only mode of freight transportation to feel the sting of tighter emission regulations in 2002. Railroads are gearing up for similar treatment.
CSX Transportation Inc., a subsidiary of rail giant CSX Corp., for one, is preparing to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 0 limits beginning Jan. 1, 2002, with its own diesel-saving technology.
The new operating system incorporates an auxiliary power unit that automatically shuts down the main locomotive engine idle while maintaining all vital main engine systems at greatly reduced fuel consumption – saving 8,000 gallons per locomotive per year. CSX estimates annual fuel savings of 25-30 million gallons once its fleet of 3,600 locomotives is equipped with the new system. In addition, the CSX said the system will cut locomotive nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions by 92% while idling.
EPA recently approved the new system as a certified engine emission reduction kit, and there are several patents pending. Also, CSX and International Road and Rail, based in Canada, have formed a joint venture to manufacture and sell the new system. The joint venture, called EcoTrans Technologies, will be based in Jacksonville, Florida.