When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued stringent new emission standards for locomotives with diesel engines, to take effect in 2015, GE Transportation’s 6000-strong team of researchers, engineers and production employees was ready to meet the challenge. This morning in Erie, Pennsylvania—where GE has been at work for over a century building locomotives—the company unveiled the product of the team’s six years of hard work: the cleanest, smartest and most fuel-efficient diesel-electric Evolution® Series locomotive yet. The prototype will meet the EPA’s strict, new Tier 4 emissions standards, lowering particulate emissions by 70 percent and NO2 emissions by 76 percent, the largest reductions in history.
GE Transportation President and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli announced the new locomotive technology, developed by a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and experts in close consultation with GE’s top rail customers. So far, GE has invested $400 million in the project, with an additional $200 million slated to hone and test the research, design and engineering to meet Tier 4 standards over the next two years.
“GE Transportation continues to challenge what is possible and reshape the future of the rail industry in the U.S.,” said Simonelli. “Thanks to the tireless effort of our employees and the collaboration with our customers, we are the first in the industry to offer a solution that meets the next phase of the EPA’s emission standards.”
The new Tier 4 Evolution locomotive will achieve its historic reduction in emissions without relying on the use of a costly, existing fuel additive called “Urea,” and will save rail customers an estimated $2 billion annually, all without sacrificing the performance of the popular, ecomagination-qualified Evolution Series locomotive. How did the team get here? First, GE Transportation worked side by side with its rail customers to directly incorporate their needs into the design and development of the prototype. Second, GE tapped its extensive in-house network of research scientists and engineers—including experts in separate but complementary fields, like aviation, automotive and energy.
Onowoleola Akinyemi, Manager of the Internal Combustion Lab at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York, said, “The delivery of the new Tier 4 engine shows what is possible when you have an engine development program driven by a team with great technical depth and diversity. We were able to effectively use computer modeling and simulation in conjunction with experiments in our combustion test cell to arrive at a solution faster for our customers.”
The new locomotive will be produced here at home: GE will build the locomotive at its manufacturing sites in Erie and Fort Worth, Texas and produce its Tier 4 compliant diesel engines at its plant in Grove City, Pennsylvania.