Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There is much more to diesel engines meeting emissions standards that just the basic engine. The radiators and their cooling fans, the charge air intercoolers, etc. If you were to take a EMD SD70 locomotive which meets US EPA Tier 1 emissions standards, park it alongside a EMD SD70M-2 locomotive that meets US EPA Tier 2 emissions standards, then take the motor out of the SD70M-2 and install it in the SD70, you would have a SD70 that still would only meet Tier 1 standards. This is because the radiator is not a dual circuit system, and you do not have a large enough charge air cooling system.

Re: the PL42C having permission to run in the US. It did at the time it was built however the standards were raised since then and it would no longer meet the new standards, hence no more can be sold here without reworking the design.

It is a similar situation in Europe, Bombardier replaced the TRAXX 1 bodyshell with the TRAXX 2 bodyshell to meet the tougher collision standards relating to protection of the driver's cabin in a collision. So all the electrical components of the TRAXX 2 will fit inside the TRAXX 1 bodyshell, and the TRAXX 1 is certified to operate in 3 European countries, but no more can be built.

by jfbeaulieu on Tue Jul 7th, 2009 at 11:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But, can meeting these improved standards be considered a problem? TRAXX 1 -> 2 and EuroSprinter 3 pre-2007 -> EuroSprinter 3 post-2007 was not THAT difficult. Methinks meeting US Tier 1 crashworthiness standards when starting from European UIC standards was much bigger a challenge than going from there to the current ones would be. Regarding emissions, Vossloh already claims on the Euro 4000:

Exhaust emissions: EU 97/68 Stage IIIA (EPA Tier II eq)

The EMD 16-710 G3C-T2 engine is certainly EPA Tier 2, and it shouldn't be difficult to find fitting equipment to upgrade vs. the PL42AC even if the European ones would not be. At any rate, the locos Vossloh did offer to MBTA (and one other operator I can't find again) would have been under the new regulations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jul 8th, 2009 at 10:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a photograph of a SD70 that meets Tier 0 emissions;

Here meeting Tier 1;

And here meeting Tier 2;

And here is for GE

Dash-9 meeting Tier 1;

GEVO meeting Tier 2;

Note the major increase in radiator size. Not visible is the fact that the cooling systems are now microprocessor controlled, and must maintain engine temperatures within much tighter limits. On the GE GEVO
shown notice the large boxy structure ahead of the radiator, this is a air to air intercooler that cools the intake air after it leaves the turbocharger and before it enters the diesel engine.

How tough can it be to meet the new emissions standards? Tough enough to convince Caterpillar to leave the market for building diesel engines for trucks. They couldn't build a diesel engine with acceptable reliability at a cost that was competitive. They had a significant chunk of the market.

Tier 3 isn't going to be too bad, but Tier 4 is going to be real trouble.

by jfbeaulieu on Thu Jul 9th, 2009 at 01:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the details and the great photo links.

What I meant was that, would Vossloh be incapable to produce the proper extra equipment to fit on the EMD engine (new radiators, engine motor cooling, stricter temperature control, exhaust filters), it could go shopping for suppliers.

However, let's at last have a look at European and US emissions standards in comparison. The Euro 4000 complies with EU Stage IIIA (2004/26/EC). For locomotive diesels above 2000kW, that standard is HC: 0.4 g/kWh, CO: 3.5 g/kWh, NOx: 7.4 g/kWh, PM: 0.2 g/kWh. Converted to the units of the US standard, that's  HC: 0.3 g/bhp-hour, CO: 2.6 g/bhp-hour, NOx: 5.5 g/bhp-hour, PM: 0.15 g/bhp-hour.

EPA Tier 2 for line-haul locos is HC: 0.3 g/bhp-hour, CO: 1.5 g/bhp-hour, NOx: 5.5 g/bhp-hour, PM: 0.2 g/bhp-hour. The near-identity is not by accident (from the first link above):

Regulatory authorities in the EU, USA, and Japan have been under pressure from engine and equipment manufacturers to harmonize worldwide emission standards, in order to streamline engine development and emission type approval/certification for different markets. Stage I/II limits were in part harmonized with US regulations. Stage III/IV limits are harmonized with the US Tier 3/4 standards.

(However, for switchers, interestingly, the US standard is less strict while the EU one is more strict than for line-haul - must be due to the many downtown freight yards and passenger station service here.)

If my short read-up was correct, the primary emission effect of air intake temperature reduction/regulation is in NOx emissions, with the second effect being a general one in improved fuel efficiency. Can you tell me what part of the locomotive machinery impacts the one emission in which the US standard is (much) stronger, CO?

Finally, I found this Vossloh presentation on development to meet new emissions standards (unfortunately a technologically shallow 'managerial' one), which confirms something I read earlier in a non-authoritative source: that the NJT PL42AC is homologated for EPA Tier 1, but designed for Tier 2 (p13).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jul 9th, 2009 at 05:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, service club meeting last night finished late. Re-thinking my position EMD would have to be involved with the Vossloh bid anyway. The big problem is everything keeps getting heavier, bigger radiators, more coolant, I shouldn't have said it wasn't possible.  I wonder what would have happened if EMD lead the consortium in Name for the bid, even if Vossloh did most of the work? The MPI locomotives are roughly 136 tonnes on 4 axles.
by jfbeaulieu on Fri Jul 10th, 2009 at 09:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what would have happened if EMD lead the consortium in Name for the bid, even if Vossloh did most of the work?

You mean, politically? In the decision, it seems the crucial problem was Vossloh's insistence to assemble the first two units in Valencia/Spain.

BTW, what engine would the MPI locomotives use? EMD, GE, or neither?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jul 11th, 2009 at 01:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The funny part is MPI offers two choices, either the 710G3C rated at 4000hp. from EMD or the EMD designed 3600hp 645F3B built by MPI using a crankcase assembly manufactured by GE. MPI and GE are the two largest suppliers of replacement parts (mainly remanufactured) for EMD 645E and F series engines. MPI is a subsidiary of WABTEC (formerly Westinghouse Air Brake Co.).
by jfbeaulieu on Sat Jul 11th, 2009 at 06:55:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MPI and GE are the two largest suppliers of replacement parts (mainly remanufactured) for EMD 645E and F series engines

Heh, I noticed the oddity on GE's page, wanted to ask about that too...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 02:20:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Generally speaking, carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete combustion. In gasoline automotive engines, three methods of limiting it are:
  • Combustion chamber shaped to promote swirling of the gasses.
  • Lean mixture (more air per unit of fuel).
  • Catalytic converters to convert CO to CO2.

I'm not sure that swirl techniques are practical on direct injection engines (including diesels), because the burning happens on the surfaces of the fuel droplets before they get a chance to evaporate.
by asdf on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 09:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From that, I take, it is only influenced by the engine and the fuel?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:03:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm at the limit of my knowledge on the subject, but for example, the engine temperature influences the combustion, so the cooling system indirectly affects the CO production.

Here's an interesting article on the Honda Insight hybrid, where they went "all out" in trying to meet low emission and high economy targets. There are a LOT of tricks in use...not all applicable to railroad engines, obviously, but there is an interesting parallel between the two.


by asdf on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 10:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Could you tell me, for the same loco types as in the five linked pictures, roughly what distance they can go between refuelling?

  2. Is my impression right that on the US market, GE and EMD relate somewhat like Siemens and Bombardier here? (i.e. the GE diesels are overall better quality since the nineties, but EMD is good at sales)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jul 11th, 2009 at 01:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1. This is a tough question since there are so many variables. The EMD diesel will burn roughly 191.9 gallons per hour at full throttle.

The GE Dash9-44CW will burn 210 gallons per hour at full throttle.

Both locomotives offer a 5000 gallon fuel tank.

2. GE had been better at quality since about 1995 and had been steady building a lead on EMD. The debut of GE's GEVO series has put some tarnish on GE's reputation.
EMD like the rest of GM had gotten arrogant, and poor at customer service. It took too long for GM to sell EMD and EMD's Engineering languished. EMD has been slowing gaining ground back, but the worry is how committed are EMD's new owners.

by jfbeaulieu on Sat Jul 11th, 2009 at 07:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is an interesting story about railroads and their potential electrification...


by asdf on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 10:01:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting article. I would frame the following and give it as present to all European decisionmakers...

Why don't the railroads just build the new tracks, tunnels, switchyards, and other infrastructure they need? America's major railroad companies are publicly traded companies answerable to often mindless, or predatory, financial Goliaths.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 12:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They can also wipe out the stockholders if they go bankrupt, as many have.
by jfbeaulieu on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 11:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how that engine access door got crunched in on the GEVO???
by asdf on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 09:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. I notied the bent shape on that (BTW, exceptional with the other three locos in the background) photo, but now that you say it, I see even the railings are bent on both sides. Checking the caption:

Remarks: BNSF 3447, the Golden Globe switcher, shoves damaged ES44AC into the shop. A few new doors and railings are needed at least. The damage was caused by running through a trailer, see comment below.

...which says:

Posted by Mike Vandenberg on July 2, 2009

This was the lead unit on a coal train that plowed through an empty semi trailer in Perham, MN last week.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 12th, 2009 at 11:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Top Diaries

Après May

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 22

The gloves are off

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 20

Brexit Fun: The John Bercow Show

by Oui - Mar 18

Healing Earth (Through the Waters)

by gmoke - Mar 19

People playing games

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 15

No justice for Bloody Sunday

by IdiotSavant - Mar 14

Occasional Series