Susan Carpenter / Staff Writer
The locomotive that arrived at the Anaheim rail yard earlier this year, a workhorse of North Carolina’s passenger rail service, has seen better days. Its green paint is smeared with soot. Its enormous diesel fuel tank is coated with grime from feeding the 3,000-horsepower engine that has pulled its 260,000-pound body and a train of six passenger cars for 27 years…
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Rail Propulsion Systems (RPS) proudly announced the successful installation and static test of its Blended Aftertreatment System (BATS) on a F59PH passenger locomotive.
The patented BATS design combines and treats the exhaust of both the main engine and the hotel or head-end power (HEP) generator engine resulting in reduced hydrocarbon (HC), CO, particulate matter (PM) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions for the entire locomotive. Testing was conducted per EPA certification guidelines in Anaheim, California on October 13th 2015 by Engine, Fuel and Emissions, Engineering Inc. (EF&EE) who also provided subsystems and design input from their extensive experience with off road engine emissions reduction. The emissions reductions measured from the test were close to or better than Tier 4 levels with NOx reduction of over 90%. Upcoming in service testing is expected to confirm that adding the BATS will allow this 20 year old passenger locomotive, and over 700 like it operating in North America, to meet current NOx, HC and CO emissions requirements with a simple rebuild rather than a repower.
This achievement is the culmination of a design and fabrication effort by the RPS team with support from the launch customer, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and their research collaboration with North Carolina State University to improve air quality within their state. A BATS equipped F59PH locomotive is scheduled to begin operation between Raleigh and Charlotte North Carolina by NCDOT early next year. Upon final revision of the combined exhaust plumbing and installation on F59PH #1859, NCDOT will likely be the first to operate a diesel passenger locomotive in North America that meets Tier 4 NOx reduction requirements in revenue service.
The BATS upgrade will allow existing HEP equipped EMD passenger locomotives to retain the original and proven medium speed two stroke EMD 645 and 710 engines and meet current Tier 4 NOx, HC, CO and Tier 3 PM emissions requirements. The system is easily installed with minimal alteration to the locomotive and no effect on its function or operation. The BATS upgrade provides the opportunity to fully rebuild existing F59PH, F59PHi and F40PH locomotives to achieve the California Air Research Board’s voluntary Ultra Low Emissions Locomotive (ULEL) standards with 95% of the emissions benefit of a comparable new passenger locomotive for less than half the cost. For California Passenger Rail Agencies, completion of the BATS locomotive in service verification will provide access to state funding covering up to 85% of the cost for these rebuilt locomotives.
Ian Stewart and Dave Cook describe the latest developments and emissions controls for older passenger locomotives. Click here..