The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and Pacific Harbor Line on Wednesday, July 11, commissioned the first of a new fleet of lower-emission, clean-diesel locomotives, which will improve air quality and make PHL the most environmentally friendly switching railroad in the nation.
Port, city and state officials joined with PHL to celebrate the event and congratulate the railroad for transforming its entire locomotive fleet.
Replacement of the locomotives is part of an agreement between the ports and the PHL, which provides switching services for port customers and dispatching for all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains within the ports.
The locomotives, outfitted with remanufactured engines, emit 70 percent less diesel particulates and 46 percent less smog-forming nitrogen oxides. The new engines also cut greenhouse gases by burning 30 percent less fuel.
‘We’re excited to be able to replace our fleet with the new generation of locomotives. We’re happy to join in the ports’ efforts to make a difference and improve air quality for the entire community,’ said PHL President Andrew Fox.
‘This pioneering transformation of PHL’s locomotive fleet is a prime example of the type of public-private partnerships that we will need to make these the ‘greenest’ ports in the world,’ said Richard D Steinke, Port of Long Beach Executive Director. ‘PHL is to be commended for taking this giant step.’
‘Port of Los Angeles terminals with on-dock rail handled more than 1.3 million containers during 2006 ’ 28 percent of all containers handled at our Port,’ said Port of Los Angles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. ‘That’s why PHL’s clean fleet investment is so important to us.’
The cost of the $23 million project is being shared by PHL ($10 million) and the ports ($5 million each), with additional funds from the state Carl Moyer Program, which is administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
So far, four of the black-and-white, clean-diesel engines have been delivered to PHL. Two more each month will arrive through the rest of the year. The locomotives are being remanufactured at MotivePower Inc.‘s Boise, Idaho plant.
The engines meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Tier 2’ standards for reduction of air pollutants and replace much older locomotive engines, some of which are 50 years old.
The new, eco-friendly locomotive fleet is just one of many groundbreaking environmental initiatives undertaken by the San Pedro Bay ports. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles adopted the landmark Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in 2006 to curb port-related air pollution from trucks, ships, locomotives and other equipment. A model for seaports around the world, the CAAP is the boldest air quality initiative by any seaport, consisting of wide-reaching measures to significantly reduce air emissions and health risks while allowing for the development of much-needed port efficiency projects. For information on the joint Clean Air Action Plan see the websites of the two ports, www.polb.com and www.portoflosangeles.org, or visit cleanairactionplan.org.