US-based railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) has introduced two US EPA Tier 4-compliant low-emission locomotives in California.

The two 2,400-horsepower diesel locomotives entered service following trials and are currently operated by G&W subsidiary California Northern Railroad Company (CFNR).

Manufactured by Knoxville Locomotive Works in Tennessee, the two locomotives use selective catalytic reduction technology to meet the EPA’s emissions requirements.

The two vehicles are equipped with 12-cylinder MTU engines to provide fuel savings of around 25%.

Additionally, the locomotives will reduce diesel emissions, including carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, by nearly 80% compared to the two older vehicles.

G&W purchased the two locomotives in conjunction with a $3.7m grant from California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District).

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The grant was awarded through a state special programme to encourage the owners of equipment used in freight movement to switch to greener technologies.

CFNR president Brad Ovitt said: “Short line railroads such as the California Northern, which provide the ‘first and last mile’ of freight service linking local customers to the large national railroads, are small businesses with duty cycles that don’t require brand new locomotives.

“We’re grateful to the Air District for making the purchase of this two low-emission, state-of-the-art locomotives feasible, as they provide benefits to the communities served by the railroad that would not be possible for us to do on a stand-alone basis. It’s a true win-win, public-private partnership.”

Overall, CFNR manages businesses on 256 miles of track between Los Banos and Tehama.

Earlier this month, Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC agreed to acquire G&W in a transaction valued $8.4bn, including debt.