Union Pacific Railroad has announced that it will invest $20m to test a new technology that is designed to reduce diesel emissions from freight locomotives in California, US.
Initially, a series of 25 trains will be tested at two Union Pacific rail yards in California; the testing is scheduled to continue until the end of 2014, with various emission-reducing technologies being investigated.
This testing and analysis is part of the company's ongoing plan to develop and use technology to reduce emissions and move closer to the US EPA's Tier 4 emissions standards for new locomotives, starting in 2015.
Union Pacific Railroad has described the locomotives as intermediate line-haul units, with an operating range of around 200 miles.
Of the total locomotive series, one will be based in Roseville, California, and will use exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which is a diesel oxidation catalyst and particulate filtering.
The move toward Tier 4 involves a 45% reduction in the oxides of nitrogen emissions compared to the current Tier 2 standard, as well as an 85% reduction in particulate matter emissions, based on preliminary analysis.
The railroad and the California Air Resources Board will jointly analyse the emission reductions achieved by the locomotive over the next year and a half.
Nine other locomotives equipped with the EGR technology will be based in Colton, California, and will also recirculate emission gasses.
As testing progresses, the remaining 15 locomotives will be equipped with emission-reducing technology and will operate out of the Roseville plant in northern California.
The company partnered with Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) to develop the locomotives and improve the fuel-efficiency of its locomotive fleet.