Friday, November 19, 2010

SoCal Ports' Rail Service to Upgrade 16 Locomotives to Tier 3

Pacific Harbor Line, the railroad that provides service within the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, has signed a $12 million deal with a Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary to repower 16 older Tier 2 locomotives with newer, less emissive Tier 3 Caterpillar engines.

Under the terms of the deal, the 16 locomotives will be sent to Caterpillar-subsidiary Progress Rail Services Corporation's Tacoma, Wash facility in 2011 for fitting with Cat 3512C HD engines, including diesel particulate filters. Once certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for service, the repowered engines will boost PHL's existing fleet of six Tier 3 compliant locomotives to 22.

The EPA's Tier 3 engine standards for locomotives took effect this year. Tier 0, 1 or 2 engine standards apply only to engines made before 2005, and these locomotives can still operate as long as the engine is not replaced. Locomotives that are being repowered must be brought up to the latest engine standards. Even more stringent Tier 4 standards go into effect in 2015.

"This will be the cleanest locomotive fleet in North America," said PHL Managing Director Andrew Fox. "Particulate matter (PM) will be reduced by more than 90 percent from the current engines, which were already among the cleanest in the country."
The repowering project is being funded in large part by a grant from the Carl Moyer Program administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board, and with funds from Pacific Harbor Line.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach facilitated this project by entering into agreements with PHL, making it possible for the railroad to commit to long-term use of Progress Rail's sustainable locomotives as a part of the ports' Clean Air Action Plan.

"Being selected by PHL, which has been a leader in many ways, including being named Short Line of the Year by Railway Age in 2009, is truly an honor. It was the first railroad in the country to field an all Tier 2 and Tier 3 fleet in 2008," said Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail. "We are pleased that PHL has selected Progress Rail and low-emission Caterpillar engines as the solution that creates the most value and takes PHL to the next level."

PHL, an affiliate of Anacostia & Pacific Company, Inc., provides rail service on 75 miles of track located within and owned by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Customers include nine on-dock intermodal terminals generating more than one million intermodal carloads per year, along with numerous other customers accounting for more than 36,000 units of carload freight annually.