• Locomotives

    This page last reviewed October 18, 2011


    locomotiveThis page contains information on the ARB's currently locomotives activities. These include: Statewide Agreement, South Coast MOU, Intrastate Locomotive Fuel Requirements, Federal Activities, and Recent Activities and Meetings. Federal law preempts California from setting emission standards for new locomotives and new engines used in locomotives. The factsheet that contains those information is also available.

    A new webpage: " Railyard Emissions Reduction Program" is also introduced to show the ARB's effort to reduce emission impacts at the railyard.

    Statewide Rail Yard Agreement to Reduce Diesel PM at California Rail Yards (2005)

    The ARB has established a Rail Yard Agreement (Agreement) with Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR) and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF). This agreement obligates the railroads to significantly reduce diesel emissions in and around rail yards in California. Among the most important elements of the agreement are provisions that will significantly clean up the state's biggest rail yards: 1) a statewide idling-reduction program, 2) health risk assessments for all major rail yards, 3) community and air district involvement in the preparation of risk assessments, enforcement of Agreement provisions, and the evaluation and development of measures to further reduce impacts on local communities. The Agreement will also: 1) maximize the use of state and federal low sulfur diesel in locomotives fueled in California, 2) establish a statewide visible emissions reduction and repair program, 3) provide a detailed evaluation of advanced control measures, and 4) includes an assessment of remote sensing technology (RST) to identify high-emitting locomotives.

    The Agreement is effective on June 30, 2005.

    • Statewide Rail Yard Agreement for California Rail Yards (PDF-3,334k) (Execution Copy)
    • Q&A about the Agreement for Risk Mitigation at California Rail Yards (PDF-17k)
    • MOU Factsheet

    South Coast Memorandum of Mutual Understanding (MOU) (1998)

    California's 1994 State Implementation Plan (SIP) control measure M14 assumes that cleaner federally-complying locomotives be operated in California and the South Coast Air Basin (SCAB). As a result of measure M14, ARB staff developed a MOU with the California Railroads and the U.S. EPA that was signed in July 1998. The MOU includes provisions for early introduction of clean units, with requirements for a fleet average in the SCAB equivalent to U.S. EPA's Tier 2 locomotive standard by 2010.

    Requirements for Intrastate Locomotive Fuel Use

    On November 18, 2004, the ARB approved new requirements for fuel used in intrastate locomotives. Beginning January 1, 2007, diesel fuel sold for use in intrastate diesel-electric locomotives operating in California must meet the specifications of CARB diesel fuel. Intrastate (diesel-electric) locomotives are defined as those locomotives that operate and fuel primarily (at or greater than 90% of annual fuel consumption, mileage, and/or hours of operation) within the boundaries of the state of California.

    As part of the development of this regulation, ARB staff developed a survey to improve ARB's emissions inventory and to evaluate the feasibility of using California diesel fuel in intrastate locomotives. The survey and related documentation are listed below.

    • Intrastate Locomotive Survey - Announcement Letter (PDF-58K)
    • Intrastate Locomotive Survey - General Information Sheet (PDF-9K)
    • Intrastate Locomotive Survey - Form (PDF-18K)
    • Intrastate Locomotive Survey - Confidential Letter (PDF-17K)

    Federal Activities

    The U.S. EPA adopted emission regulations for locomotives in April 1998. This category includes new and in-use locomotives used in freight and passenger rail, line-haul, local, and switch yard service. These regulations affect 1973 and later model-year locomotives. Please see the U.S. EPA's Locomotive Programs for information regarding the federal locomotive regulations.

    AB 1222 - Report to the California Legislature:  Remote Sensing Device to Measure Locomotive Emissions 

    Assembly Bill 1222 directed the Air Resources Board to implement a pilot program to determine locomotive emissions using remote sensing devices.  The objectives of the pilot program were to determine whether a remote sensing device could accurately and replicably determine with a reasonable level of precision:

    • The levels of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide from locomotives.
    • Whether a locomotive is subject to Tier 0, 1, or 2 federal certification emission standards.
    • Whether the measured results could be calibrated to determine whether the locomotive is above or below the applicable federal certification standards.

    Feasibility of Using Remote Sensing Devices to Measure Locomotive Emissions

    (PDF - 2.26MB)

    Technical Data 

    AB1222 Advisory Group Phase 2A Summary (PDF - 571K)
    Field Deployment and Sampling (PDF - 2.3MB)
    Correlation Testing (PDF - 290K) 

    Related Documents

    • Current Diesel Particulate Filter Use for Locomotives in the U.S and Europe: Summary (PDF-34k) - Presentation (PDF-931k) - Attachment (PDF-9k) (Joint work by BNSF, UP, and Southwest Research Institute)

    Past Activities and Meetings

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