California was awarded millions this summer for new Clean Diesel Projects
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has awarded $25 million for clean diesel projects in California under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program
A single clean-burning diesel locomotive engine can cost $1.6 million, so companies like California Northern Railroad (CFNR) have been encouraged to upgrade by federal and state financial incentives. 80 percent of the cost of the new CFNR 501 engine came fom the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Likewise, Caltrans is upgrading their fleet.
The first Caltrans locomotive to be upgraded is a Model F59PHI originally built by Electro-Motive Diesel in October 2001. EMD has installed a 710ECO™ Repower upgrade package with the latest microprocessor-controlled locomotive engine technology for lower emissions, increased fuel economy, greater reliability and predictable maintenance costs. The newly upgraded locomotive will now achieve EPA Tier 2 emissions performance – two levels cleaner than required for this model.
Thus it has taken state laws, local and national grants, as well as 40% more fuel efficiency, and concern about health quality (85% particulate matter reduction in the new engines) to get the railroads to finally get moving in this direction.