Norfolk Southern showed off this week its new GP33ECO switcher locomotive fleet that it plans to use in Atlanta.
Designed and built in the NS Altoona, Pennsylvania, Juniata locomotive shops, 10 of the four-axle EPA Tier-3 compliant units have been finished.
They are to be assigned to Inman Yard, a major NS intermodal hub located northwest of downtown Atlanta.
NS said that 65 percent of the cost of the locomotives has been underwritten by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program grant administered through various federal and state agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the Georgia Department of Transportation Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Based on an EMD GP50, the 3,000 horsepower GP33ECOs have 12N-710G3BT3 (“710 ECO Kit”) prime-mover from Electro-Motive Diesel, D87 traction motors, new radiators with two-speed fans, electrical cabinets with EM 2000 microprocessor, an AR15 main traction alternator (retained from the GP50) and a CA6 companion alternator (a replacement for the D 18).
Each unit has also been fitted with an NS Admiral Cab. The flared radiators “are similar to those of an SD70,” said NS Mechanical Engineer-Locomotive Design Mark Duve.
A GP33ECO mother unit will be attached to a ballasted slug unit equipped with four DC traction motors and two EMD electrical cabinets.
“Unlike other slugs, this one goes through transition and does not cut out at 20 mph,” Duve said. “The combination gets very close to Tier 4, compared to two switcher locomotives operating as a multiple unit. It runs at a higher, more efficient throttle notch setting, notches 4 through 6. We estimate its tractive effort to be equivalent to that of a new GP59.”
The railroad said the using the locomotives “will help Atlanta achieve federal clean air standards and will produce significant, measurable emissions reductions and fuel savings.”
NS plans to use additional CMAQ grants to create GP33ECO locomotives for use in yard in Macon and Rome, Georgia, and in Chicago.
The GP33ECO features a stylistic green paint scheme with a Georgia-shaped icon and the slogan “Working Together for a Cleaner State.”
NS calculates that the 10 Eco units will account for 6.6 fewer tons of particulate matter and 155 fewer tons of nitrogen oxides in the air.
“In addition to lower emissions and fuel savings, benefits include operating efficiencies, as each Eco unit can replace two older, less-efficient locomotives,” said NS Chief Operating Officer Mark Manion. “Over the past five years, we have significantly lowered greenhouse gas emissions of our locomotive fleet, achieving an 8.5 percent reduction per revenue ton-mile.”