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People living and working near ports across the country will breathe cleaner air and live better lives as a result of bold steps taken through a collaboration of industry, government and communities to improve environmental performance and increase economic prosperity.
October 2019 (Vol. 5, Ed. 1)
EPA Ports Initiative Newsletter

Featured News

This newsletter highlights locomotive replacement and repower projects in New York City. 
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Did You Know?
New York City Repowers Locomotives to Improve Air Quality and Save Fuel

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and New York City Department of Small Business Services (NYC Small Business Services), in collaboration with EPA, undertook projects that were finalized in 2018 to reduce locomotive emissions in and around New York City with  four project partners
  • CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT),
  • Waste Management of New York, LLC (WMNY),
  • New York & Atlantic Railway (NY&A), and
  • New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY).
The projects were influenced by Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) that advocated for the procurement of low-emission diesel freight locomotives in Queens and Brooklyn to address the local impacts from the locomotive operations.

CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Waste Management of New York (WMNY) repowered two locomotives that travel through Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, NY, one of the mostly densely populated areas in the U.S with asthma rates that are higher than the national average. 

CSXT Locomotive Replacement and Repower

CSXT Locomotive Repowered with SELEL Technology Photo Credit: CSX Transportation Inc.
In 2016, the CSXT project replaced one six-axle 3,000-hp Tier 0 locomotive with another locomotive, owned by CSXT, that was repowered and equipped with Single-Engine Low-Emission Locomotive (SELEL) technology. The replacement locomotive is certified to meet the EPA Tier 3 Line Haul and Tier 2 Switch emission standards. EPA provided $1 million in DERA funding and project partners provided a cost share of $959,734.

CSXT expects annual emission reductions of approximately:
  • 5.73 tons nitrogen oxide (NOx), a 33.8 percent reduction annually;
  • 0.81 tons particulate matter (PM2.5), an 81.8 percent reduction annually;
  • 46 tons carbon dioxide (CO2), a 6.8 percent reduction annually; and
  • 4,803 gallons of diesel saved, a 6.8 percent reduction annually.

WMNY Locomotive Repower

WMNY's Tier-4 Mother-Slug Locomotive Photo Credit Waste Management of New York
The WMNY project repowered an old unregulated four-axle 1,200-hp locomotive used in switcher service with a Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW) Near Zero Emissions Tier 4 Certified 2,300-hp mother-slug locomotive combination that was placed into service in 2018.

The configuration allows the 2300-hp mother-slug locomotive to move more train cars than just the locomotive alone - achieving more work with the very-low emission engine. EPA provided $1 million in DERA funding and the project partners provided a cost share of $2,897,560.

Based on historical operating characteristics of the locomotive, WMNY expects annual emission reductions of approximately:
  • 19.4 tons nitrogen oxide (NOx), a 99 percent reduction annually;
  • 0.48 tons particulate matter (PM2.5), a 99 percent reduction annually; and
  • 26,000 gallons of diesel saved, a 40 percent reduction annually.

Lessons Learned & Next Steps

Initially, for the CSXT project, it was envisioned that the locomotive would be powered by one or more engines certified to Tier 3 standards, however, the Single-Engine Low Emission Locomotive technology was selected due to the load demand required to service railyards in Brooklyn and Queens. 

The WMNY project benefited from a Tier 4 mother-slug locomotive that became available in the marketplace in 2017. The original plan was to repower the locomotive with a multi-engine generator set using multiple nonroad certified engines at the time the application was submitted. However, there were no manufacturers that met the service demands. 

Under the terms of the collaboration, CSXT, NY&A, and WMNY will make the locomotives available for use within the New York City area for a minimum of five years. 

For More Information


Some of the content for this page is supplied by the project partners: New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Department of Small Business Services,CSX Transportation, Inc., Waste Management of New York, LLC, New York & Atlantic Railway, and the New York Department of Sanitation. Note: In general, EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by third-parties. EPA is providing content in this article from a third-party for informational purposes only to showcase promising environmental practices. In doing so, EPA does not endorse any third-party non-government websites, companies, applications, practices, or technologies.