Jessica Love for Cal Trans
SACRAMENTO- This summer, the California Department of Transportation will take one big step toward cleaning the air introducing a new kind of locomotive into its Amtrak California services. On Wednesday, July 22, Caltrans unveiled this locomotive at a press event held at the Sacramento Valley Station.
The introduction of this locomotive marks the beginning of cleaner diesel technology on California passenger railroads, a long time ambition of Caltrans in its quest to go green. The newly upgraded locomotive has recently begun operating between Sacramento and the Bay Area along the Capitol Corridor route.
"This is really a big step for Caltrans. We took a proactive role to get a cleaner locomotive on the tracks, and we're proud to see this project through. It aligns with Governor Schwarzenegger's objectives to clean up Caltrans' carbon footprint, and it contributes to the bigger goal of California going green," said Caltrans Director Will Kempton.
"Commuters who are already helping air quality by leaving their cars at home can now rest assured that their train is also fighting climate change," said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.
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.
"We at EMD are pleased to offer a product that can benefit Californians in many ways," said John Hamilton, President and CEO of Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. "The 710ECO™ Repower solution allows Caltrans to achieve its aggressive emissions reduction and performance goals, while extending the locomotive service lives to leverage its fleet investment."
Amtrak California is operating fifteen of the F59PHI locomotives and the goal is to convert the entire fleet to this new cleaner performance level, eventually reducing operating emissions by nearly 50 percent.
Caltrans was able to complete this project thanks to grant money and funding from its project partners. This is a joint effort between Caltrans, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Amtrak, the California Air Resources Board, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Electro-Motive Diesel.
About the Project Partners
The California Department of Transportation: The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been promoting intercity passenger rail since 1976. Caltrans has an aggressive program to integrate innovative air quality technology for the Capitol Corridor/San Joaquin locomotive fleet, supporting intercity service on more than 400 route miles connecting the Sacramento region with the San Francisco Bay Area and connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with the California's Central Valley. The Department has set specific objectives to implement innovative air quality technologies for its locomotives, leading to real and significant environmental solutions which are vital to maintaining a healthy, growing, sustained ridership. Caltrans manages the San Joaquin Route (which travels through the Central Valley and Bay Area) and the Pacific Surfliner (which travels along the Southern California coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego). www.dot.ca.gov
Amtrak: Amtrak has posted six consecutive years of growth in ridership and revenue, carrying more than 28.7 million passengers in the last fiscal year. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority: Capitol Corridor serves 16 stations along the 170-mile rail corridor connecting the Sacramento area, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose. The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority partners with Amtrak, Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the collective communities comprising the CCJPA to offer a cost-effective, viable and safe intercity passenger rail service. For information, visit www.capitolcorridor.org.
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) and Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD): The AQMD's work involves interaction with local, state and federal government agencies, the business community, environmental groups, and private citizens. Both districts are charged with achieving the National Ambient Air Quality Standards that are established by the EPA and the more stringent state standards established by the California Air Resources Board.
Locomotives have very large engines and are a major source of emissions of both Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), a leading precursor to the formation of ozone and Diesel Particulate Matter (PM), a toxic air contaminant known to cause cancer and aggravate various respiratory diseases. Because the Capital Corridor and San Joaquin routes pass through both the SMAQMD and BAAQMD air districts, both air districts felt that a program to reduce emissions from these engines would be very valuable.
California Air Resources Board (CARB): CARB is responsible for developing statewide programs and strategies to reduce the emission of smog-forming pollutants and toxics. This includes programs to reduce emission from mobile sources, both on- and off-road such as passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, busses, heavy-duty construction equipment, recreational vehicles, marine vessels, lawn and garden equipment, and small utility engines. Since 1998, the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program has filled a critical niche in California's strategy to achieve clean air. The Carl Moyer Program provides grant funding that is channeled through local air districts to encourage the voluntary purchase of cleaner-than-required engines, equipments, and emission reduction technologies. This program accelerates the turnover of old highly-polluting engines, reduces the costs to the regulated community, speeds the commercialization of advanced emission controls, and reduces air pollution impact on environmental justice communities. Emission reductions achieved through the Carl Moyer Program are an important component of the California State Implementation Plan, the State's federal-required plan aimed at meeting clean air goals. CARB approved the funding for this Tier 0 to Tier 2 emissions upgrade.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments mandated EPA to establish emission standards for a variety of previously unregulated non-road mobile sources. Included in those requirements was a specific mandate to regulate the emissions from new locomotives and to require in-use locomotive engines to be upgraded. However, existing locomotives are not required to upgrade their emission levels on an aggressive schedule. EPA has provided funding through grants to the SMAQMD on several previous occasions to reduce emission from construction equipment and to retrofit locomotives engines and felt this project could yield significant benefits.
Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD): Founded in 1922, Electro-Motive is one of two U.S. original equipment manufacturers of diesel-electric locomotives. Headquartered in LaGrange, Illinois, with additional facilities in London, Ontario, EMD designs, manufactures and sells diesel-electric locomotives for all commercial railroad applications and has sold its products in more than 70 countries worldwide. The Company is the only diesel-electric locomotive manufacturer to have produced more than 70,000 engines and has the largest installed base of diesel-electric locomotives in both North America and worldwide. In addition to its locomotive manufacturing activities, EMD has an extensive aftermarket business offering customers replacement parts, maintenance solutions, and a range of value-added services for its locomotives. The Company is also a global provider of diesel engines for marine propulsion, offshore and land-based oil well drilling rigs, and stationary power generation. Additional information may be found at www.EMDiesels.com.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.