All aboard the eco train

March 11, 2010
by Purchasingb2b Staff

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has purchased a next-generation locomotive from RJ Corman Railpower for $1.6 million.

The GenSet locomotive, which involves technology developed in Canada by Railpower, uses up to three modular generator driven tier III 2,000-horsepower engines. The locomotives are designed to use less diesel and reduce emissions.

GenSet is greener

The GenSet design consists of two or three generator engines that start up depending on the size of the task and the locomotive’s power needs. Depending on the throttle position, one, two or three generator engines are brought online.

The MPA expects to see fuel savings in applications requiring less power, such as switching operations.. Such applications are traditionally perfomed using one large, constantly running conventional engine. The GenSet locomotive will use only one or two generators, which consumes less fuel. 

Also, if the locomotive remains stationary for more than five minutes, the on-board computer will put it into standby mode, shutting off all the generators so that no emissions are produced until it starts moving again.

The MPA anticipates the system will help it  reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent.

“The Montreal Port Authority is proud to have made the replacement of its locomotive fleet an opportunity to work towards substantial reductions of diesel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the MPA.

The agreement with R.J. Corman came about after the port put out a call for proposals in 2009. The deal includes an option for the MPA to purchase four more of the locomotives.

The purchase was made with federal assistance under Transport Canada’s ecoFREIGHT program.

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Port Authority.

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