Posts by Caleb Frederick Page 1

AMPS Control Technology Contributing to Emissions Reduction

AMPS is proud to provide the overall control architecture for the Railserve LEAF®. This technology is helping to drastically reduce fuel consumption and harmful greenhouse gases by means of our innovative control systems implementation which is what drives us at AMPS. See how AMPS technology is impacting the industry in the link below.

Duke Energy reduces emissions, fuel use with coal-plant locomotive

Learn more about the Railserve LEAF here

The greening of the railroads—and why it matters

It’s good for the environment. It’s sound business practice. And it’s a strong argument for keeping railroads deregulated.
By William C. Vantuono, Editor

Source: Railway Age Magazine  (February 2011)

Read More From The Interactive Magazine

U.S. locomotive order activity has slowed, but demand for GenSets is up for some motive power manufacturers

— by Kathy Bergstrom

U.S. locomotive order activity has not returned to pre-recession levels, but there are some market bright spots — including international orders and the continuing popularity of more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly generator-set (GenSet) locomotives, power manufacturers and market observers say.

“It looks like GenSet locomotives are here to stay, and that may be one part of the market that is growing a little bit faster than some other parts,” says Jim Husband, president of RailSolutions Inc., a rail equipment financing consultant.

In the meantime, incremental advances in technology continue as builders develop units that comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 emission standard, which is set to take effect in 2015.

But overall, power orders from U.S. railroads have been down the past few years. From the late 1990s to the late 2000s, about 900 new locomotives were being built annually, Husband said. During the past four years, that number has dwindled to perhaps fewer than 300 per year, he adds. Read More

Railserve Dual LEAF Gen-Set Locomotive Debuts

New Model Has All the Proven Features of Original LEAF, Plus More Pulling Power


ATLANTA, GA—November 6, 2012 (James Street Media Services)—Railserve, the leading North American provider of sustainable, economical switching locomotives, has completed production of its first three Railserve Dual LEAF Gen-Set Locomotives, each with two genset power modules for increased pulling power.

The Dual LEAF offers all of the features of Railserve’s highly-successful single genset model, with the additions of a second Cummins QSX-15 600 horsepower genset, a larger frame, and an increased-capacity sand reservoir.

“The 32 Railserve single genset LEAF locomotives already in operation have proven this model to be a highly reliable switch engine for shipper, port, utility, regional railroad, intermodal, and other rail terminals,” says TJ Mahoney, program manager for Railserve LEAF Gen-Set Locomotives. “Now, we have a second, more powerful model that is better suited for facilities that handle more cars, or that have grades or other track conditions that call for more power.” Read More

Alternative Motive Power Systems (AMPS) features Corvus Energy’s batteries in innovative hybrid locomotive

ALEXANDRIA, OHIO (Aug. 21, 2012) ¾ Alternative Motive Power Systems (AMPS) has selected 16 Corvus Energy industrial use lithium-ion AT6500-48V batteries for a prototype hybrid switching locomotive being developed by AMPS with the help of a New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

AMPS modular gen-set package with a hybrid gen-set module is the first of its kind in the road switching/short line locomotive marketplace. It is anticipated that repowering a conventional road switching locomotive with AMPS hybrid gen-set package will reduce NOx emissions by up to 98% and achieve 65% fuels savings. For railcar movement indoors or in sensitive areas, AMPS Hybrid Gen-Set locomotive will be able to function for short periods of time with zero emissions due to the ability to operate without running the internal combustion engine.

The testing phase for performance and emissions will be carried out in early 2013. When complete, the environmentally-friendly locomotive will be operated in the state of Texas where it will be used to move rail yard rolling stock by Railserve, Inc. A Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway Company.  It is expected that the locomotive will be ready for the marketplace by spring 2013. Read More

AMPS Featured at ASLRRA Tech Theater

Tech Theater

In the center of the exhibit hall at ASLRRA 2012 Connections, the 99th annual convention of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, is an open-topped temporary room, the Tech Theater, intended to give exhibitors a forum for more formal presentations to interested attendees.

The busy schedule includes 18 separate sessions, with most slated to last 15 minutes, on topics such as locomotive remote control technology, genset technology for short lines, idle reduction, safety-boosting technology, and more. A special session features a presentation by the Environmental Protection Agency. Electro-Motive Diesel sponsored the theater. Read More

AMPS Innovative Modular Hybrid Gen-set Technology

AMPS Innovative Modular Hybrid Gen-set Technology

With the help of a New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Alternative Motive Power Systems (AMPS) is developing the first modular gen-set package with a hybrid gen-set module in the road switcher/short line locomotive marketplace. This Multiple GenSet/Hybrid Gen-set model will provide an ideal cost effective product to address emission reduction needs while filling the heavy duty application requirements of the market and is particularly suited to road switcher/short line locomotives which operate below 35 mph. “While my background is with locomotives, we have brought our diversity of experience with locomotives, port container handling equipment and military vehicles to bear on this locomotive” [Dan Frederick, Principal, AMPS]. To date, no manufacturer other than AMPS is offering a hybrid gen-set option.

Assembly of the proto-type locomotive will be performed by Railserve Inc., a Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway Company. Load and emissions testing of the prototype in comparison to a conventional switcher locomotive will take place at a rail yard in Houston, Texas and will be carried out by infoWedge, a California based emissions’ measurement company. Read More

Railserve Adds Federal/State Funding Assistance for Buyers of Railserve LEAF® Gen-Set Locomotives

News Release

ATLANTA, GA—August 24, 2011 (James Street Media Services)—Railserve, the leading North American provider of in-plant rail switching and associated services in the United States and Canada, has joined with Engine, Fuel and Emissions Engineering, Inc. (EF&EE) to identify and apply for federal and state grants available to buyers of the Railserve LEAF® Gen-Set Locomotive.

“We’ve seen interest rise in our green switching locomotive and we’ve also learned that many potential buyers need assistance in identifying and obtaining the grants that are available for purchasing these cleaner and more efficient units,” says Timothy J. Benjamin, president, Railserve. Read More

Hybrid Electric Locomotives Will Utilize 514 Megawatt Hours of Battery Capacity by 2020

Locomotives are a key segment of the global transportation industry, with more than 4,000 locomotives sold each year, and the sector represents an opportunity for innovation in fuel efficiency that has the potential to be transferred to other modes of transportation.  Almost all locomotives used today are powered by electricity, either generated onboard through a diesel engine or provided through a connection to the electric grid (third rails or overhead lines).  Hybrid locomotives are an emerging alternative to these approaches that utilized stored energy from batteries. Read More

Hybrid locomotives to number 500 by 2020, Pike Research says

By 2020, hybrid locomotive sales will reach about 500 units, representing an increased portion of the total locomotive market, according to a recent report by market research and consulting firm Pike Research.

Nearly all locomotives used today are powered via electricity generated by a diesel engine or provided through an electric grid connection. Hybrid locomotives are an emerging alternative that are powered by stored energy from large capacity batteries, according to the report. Read More