WASHINGTON – Amtrak is doing more to solidify its energy efficiency and highlighting a project this Earth Day that replaces the engines in two locomotives with new energy-efficient generator sets at terminals that switch railcars between trains and in shop facilities. The newly-repowered Generator Set “GenSet” locomotives are now used daily in Washington, D.C. Amtrak previously began using GenSet locomotives in Los Angeles, Oakland and Chicago.
Traditional locomotives have a large diesel engine idling continuously when in service. GenSets have two or three smaller, independently controlled engines that shut down when not in use. This engine configuration helps reduce diesel fuel consumption by about 50 percent and produces fewer pollutant emissions.
Using GenSet locomotives improves air quality and reduces the direct exposure of diesel emissions to rail employees, passengers and nearby residents
“GenSet technology is an example of our commitment to providing environmentallysustainable and energy-efficient service,” President and CEO Joe Boardman said. “Amtrak is working to meet the nation’s travel and mobility needs while mitigating the impact of our operations on the environment.”
A $1.8 million Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant awarded through EPA’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program is supporting the repowering of two older switching locomotives into GenSet locomotives for use at Amtrak facilities in Washington D.C., and in partnership with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen/District of Columbia – State Legislative Board.
“This repower project shows how area leaders are working together to continue the trend of improving air quality in our National Capital Region, which experienced no Code Red unhealthy days last year,” said Washington, D.C., Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who serves as COG Board Chairman.
Today, Amtrak is hosting Earth Day events at Washington Union Station, 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and at other locations throughout its 46-state national network.
Visit the Amtrak blog for more about our sustainability efforts.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.