CSXT says new locomotive operating system saves fuel, meets emission compliance standards

by Canadian Shipper

CSX Transportation Inc. has developed a revolutionary new locomotive operating system designed to reduce fuel consumption and meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tier 0 limits required beginning Jan. 1, 2002. CSXT estimates annual fuel savings of 25-30 million gallons once its fleet of 3,600 locomotives is equipped with the new system.

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. In addition, the new system will cut locomotive nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions by 92 percent while idling. The United States EPA recently approved the new system as a certified engine emission reduction kit, and there are several patents pending. As a stand-alone unit, the auxiliary power unit is the only EPA-certified engine idle reduction system available to the industry.

CSXT and International Road and Rail, based in London, Ontario, Canada, have formed a joint venture to manufacture and sell the new system. The joint venture company, EcoTrans Technologies, will be based in Jacksonville.

“We believe that other railroads will be very interested in purchasing this technology,” said David P. Miller, president of EcoTrans Technologies. “The basic system platform helps to meet the new federal emissions standards for locomotive engines overhauled after Jan. 1, 2002, and helps to overcome the fuel penalty associated with EPA emission compliance,” he said.

The basic platform of the new system can be expanded to include additional safety, performance and diagnostic features customizable to specific railroad requirements. The auxiliary power unit provides 110/220 house current, which opens up the possibility for lower cost, low maintenance options, such as locomotive cab heating and air conditioning, as well as other enhancements. In cold weather climates, the auxiliary power unit will maintain engine fluids at the proper temperature, eliminating the need to idle locomotives for long periods of time to prevent engine freeze-ups.

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