Tacoma Rail will retrofit four of its locomotives with technology that will reduce emissions. Tacoma Rail, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will share the $200,000 cost of the project. The technology will protect the engines, which dont use anti-freeze, in cold weather.
Normally during cold weather, engines not in use are kept idling so that freezing temperatures and condensation dont damage them, said Phil Hogman, who supervises Tacoma Rails locomotive fleet. The technology will monitor air temperature and start the engine when necessary to protect it. Its like a refrigerator that cycles on and off to keep food at proper temperatures.
The system will improve air quality, save fuel — locomotives use three to four gallons an hour at idle — and reduce engine noise.
Two of the 2,000-horsepower retrofit locomotives will operate in Tacomas port-industrial area and two in Tacoma Rails Olympia service area. Tacoma Rail hopes to have the four locomotives retrofitted and in service this fall.