Category: Industry News Page 1

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)

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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

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

Freight Locomotive Market Update

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