Today marks the first day of spring 2014. To celebrate, I thought an uplifting thread would be especially fitting.
What today’s thread has to do with is a multimillion dollar diesel locomotive order. Being procured, according to Siemens Corporation in its “Siemens Awarded $225 Million Contract for Multi-State Passenger Rail Locomotive Procurement: Contract Brings Siemens Proven Diesel-Electric Technology to U.S. for First Time with Charger Locomotive,” press release, are 32 diesel-electric locomotives valued at $225 million.
The locomotives are being assembled in Siemens’ facility in Sacramento, California, apparently destined for passenger service in California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.
That is not the only uplifting news. Each of these locomotives is being built adhering to reduced-emissions Tier IV specifications.
“The Charger will be powered by a high-performance, environment-friendly 4400 [horsepower]-rated Cummins QSK95 diesel engine designed to ensure compliance with Federal Railroad Administration EPA Tier IV emissions regulations, required to be in place in 2015,” Siemens in the press release in question brought to bear.
These Tier IV locomotives will be a part of the legion of cleaner-burning diesels plying American rails.
It isn’t just that these will be among the cleanest-operating diesel-electric locos; they are to be among the more energy- and fuel-efficient, that is, compared to those not built to Tier IV specs already in service. In addition, built into the Charger’s passenger locomotive design will be safety features thereby allowing them to meet current Federal Railroad Administration rail-safety regulations, according to Siemens.
On this day, I can think of no better way to introduce spring. With that understanding I am most looking forward to year 2016 when these eco-friendly beauts hit the rails running. The only thing I can think of to top that is getting to ride behind one.