Caterpillar Company’s Progress Rail has teamed up with Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC) on the first EMD GP34ECO locomotive to support yard and intermediate operations.

As of now, the locomotive is being tested to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emissions certification requirements.

The GP34ECO is expected to attain a 90% drop in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and provide better fuel efficiency compared with older locomotives.

Powered by a 3,000 horsepower 12-710 EMD engine, the locomotive is equipped with the ‘first’ diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) / selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system meant for line haul locomotive applications.

The locomotive core was assembled at NSC’s Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

NSC, along with Progress Rail and Caterpillar engineering teams, executed the final assembly, engine, and SCR aftertreatment system work.

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By GlobalData

Aside from the Cat aftertreatment control system, the locomotive also features a new crashworthy cab and electronics.

NSC advanced train control vice-president Tom Schnautz said: “In recent years, we have collaborated with Progress Rail to upgrade more than 100 locomotives that power our road and terminal operations.

“This new locomotive is another step forward in our modernisation journey, and we look forward to achieving Tier 4 emissions certification.”

For the ECO line, Progress Rail and NSC have collaborated to repower 50 locomotives, since 2008.

These new EMD ECO locomotives are expected to deliver “lower emissions, fuel savings, and operating efficiencies”.

Progress Rail North America rolling stock sales vice president Ahmed Moustehy said: “The GP34ECO locomotive design was based on incorporating a Tier 4 system intended to fit our GP and SD locomotive platforms.

“As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plan to work with our customers to identify opportunities for other ECO programmes in the future.”

Later this year, these locomotives will be deployed by NSC in Harrisburg.

In addition, the companies will work together to ensure that the field testing attains final emissions certification requirements.

In May this year, Progress Rail subsidiary ECM and Italy-based INC won a project to modernise the signalling system on the Tirana-Durres Railway line in Albania.