Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Department of Transportation’

NCDOT Locomotives Certified by EPA

February 22, 2018

A passenger locomotive owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation  has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency as an emissions-reduction system.

It uses a technology known as blended after-treatment system, which uses catalytic reduction to chemically remove diesel engine emission pollutants from the locomotive’s exhaust before it’s released into the air.

The system is designed to reduce four diesel exhaust pollutants: nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter.

In a news release, NCDOT said the EPA has determined that all four can cause chronic negative health effects, such as heart and lung disease.

The work on the locomotive was done by Rail Propulsion Systems of California. The company developed the system for use on passenger locomotives.

NCDOT’s rail division collaborated with Rail Propulsion Systems for the past two years to install and test BATS’ functionality.

NCDOT is the first U.S. rail agency to demonstrate the technology on an in-service passenger locomotive.

The EPA certification will enable NCDOT to pursue state and federal grant opportunities to retrofit BATS onto its full fleet of locomotives that are assigned to Amtrak trains using the Piedmont route between Raleigh and Charlotte.

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NCDOT Complete Piedmont Rail Project

January 12, 2018

A seven-year project to rehabilitate a rail line used by Amtrak trains in North Carolina has come to a close.

Known as the Piedmont Improvement Program, it sought to upgrade the infrastructure used by passenger and freight trains between Charlotte and Raleigh. This included making the route safer and more efficient and reliable.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said more than 40 rail projects were completed. This included constructing 13 new bridges over or under highways to prevent train/vehicle collisions, laying 27 miles of double track between Greensboro and Charlotte, making the route between both cities now double track, and closing nearly 40 street-level roadway crossings.

The state also funded the addition of locomotives and passengers cars for Amtrak’s Piedmont service and upgraded four stations between Cary and Kannapolis.

“The Piedmont Improvement Program has put our state on the right path for the future by not only improving connectivity for passenger customers, but also serving as a catalyst for economic improvement through freight rail service, locally and nationally,” said NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard in a statement.

Railroads participating in the program included Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern and the North Carolina Railroad Company.

NC Puts Rebuilt Locomotives Into Service

August 3, 2017

Amtrak and North Carolina officials this week christened two rebuilt locomotives that are used in Piedmont Service between Charlotte and Raleigh.

The rebuilt locomotives have been named Town of Cary and the City of Kannapolis, both of which are served by the Piedmonts as well as the New York-Charlotte Carolinian.

Each engine was rebuilt mechanically and electrically. The Kannapolis locomotive’s 3,000 horsepower engine was upgraded to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 0+ emission standards.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation noted that the purchase and rehabilitation of the locomotives cost $2.15 million each. New units would have cost $6 million to $7 million.

The North Carolina locomotives were built in 1990 for Toronto’s GO Transit system.

N.C. To Uprade F59H Locomotive Used on Piedmonts

April 11, 2017

An F59H locomotive used to pull Amtrak Piedmont service trains in North Carolina is going to receive rebuilding to make it more environmentally friendly.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has awarded a $39,000 grant to the Rail Division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The money will be used to pay for the addition of additional technologies to the blended after-treatment system that was installed and tested on F59H locomotive 1859.

The BATS mitigates the four components of diesel exhaust that studies have found are harmful to humans.

The current system has migrated three of the four compounds to the EPA Tier 4 emissions level required for new locomotives. The fourth component, particulate matter, was lowered to Tier 3.

The NCDOT Rail Division expects to reach the Tier 4 level for particulate matter, which will bring No. 1859 to the functional equivalent of a new locomotive.