News & Reviews News Wire G&W outlines locomotive rebuilding and fuel-conservation efforts

G&W outlines locomotive rebuilding and fuel-conservation efforts

By Bill Stephens | January 18, 2024

The short line holding company will add or rebuild 193 units this year

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Three locomotives lead train reflected in water
Connecticut Southern train CSO-4, led by B39-8 No. 3901, is northbound on Amtrak’s Springfield Line at Windsor Locks, Conn., on June 20, 2022. Connecticut Southern is one of six Genesee & Wyoming Railroads that will be receiving units from a 69-unit purchase of Wabtec certified pre-owned diesels. Scott A. Hartley

DARIEN, Conn. – Genesee & Wyoming’s latest sustainability report outlines how locomotive modernizations and other fuel-saving efforts will help reduce the carbon footprint of its more than 100 short line railroads.

“We are committed to upgrading our locomotives and improving the performance of our existing fleet to reduce carbon emissions,” says the report, which was released this week. “To achieve our climate goals, we will continue to upgrade and enhance our locomotive fleet. Over the last five years, approximately 17% of our North American fleet has been replaced, overhauled, modified, or upgraded − contributing to an estimated 3.5% fuel savings annually.”

Last year G&W paid a $1.35 million fine for violations of the Clean Air Act as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company also agreed to pull from service or upgrade 70 non-compliant locomotives.

This year G&W is aiming to add 193 “new” or rebuilt locomotives to the fleet, accompanied by the retirement of 273 locomotives. The rebuilding projects, combined with the 80-unit reduction in overall fleet size, will save 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, G&W estimates.

“For the remaining fleet, we are investing in automatic engine stop/start (AESS) systems and auxiliary power units (APUs) to further reduce carbon emissions,” G&W said. “We estimate annual reductions of 3,400 metric tons of GHG emissions (CO2e) from the installation and implementation of AESS technology on more than 17% of our fleet. We estimate annual reductions of 9,000 metric tons of GHG emissions (CO2e) from the implementation of APUs on almost 30% of our fleet. In addition, we have developed fuel conservation policies covering a range of activities for reducing diesel usage. These policies were prepared for our conductors and engineers and emphasize best practices such as shutting down locomotives, using dynamic braking, and properly maintaining the engine.”

Beginning in September 2022, G&W short line Arkansas Midland Railroad conducted a 13-month hydrogen experiment on one of its GP38-2’s, with a goal of reducing fuel consumption and overall emissions. A system by Hydrogen on Demand Technologies was installed on the locomotive to inject hydrogen into the fuel system. The railroad is awaiting a full report from Hydrogen on Demand, which says its hydrogen-assisted burn system helps diesel fuel combust completely and burn more energetically.

The railroad holding company’s report also details its environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, goals.

“We’re proud of the progress we have made toward fulfilling our ESG goals,” Michael Miller, CEO for G&W North America, said in a statement. “Creating a more sustainable future for ourselves, our customers and our communities is rooted in several of G&W’s Core Values and, moving forward, will be paramount to achieving our Core Purpose.”

G&W has developed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to help track progress toward achieving its science-based emissions reduction target. G&W also received the highest customer satisfaction score ever for 2022 and 2023.

2 thoughts on “G&W outlines locomotive rebuilding and fuel-conservation efforts

  1. I bad apple doesn’t necessarily mean they are all bad apples…Lake State RR (now considered a regional) has their locomotives all in compliance, and operational cleanliness.

  2. Add another to the list of “environmentally responsible” companies that were caught circumventing long standing regulations and fined only to come out the next year with all the environmentally responsible initiatives they have. Caterpillar, Volvo, Cummins anf now G&W. Wait till the rest of the regional railroads when they get caught.

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