I had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Yarbrough, Director of Marketing, Railserve, Inc., at the Petrochemical Supply Chain and Logistics Conference and Exhibition held last December. I learned that Railserve has worked with Cummins to build a genset type of locomotive: Railserve LEAF, diesel electric. The benefits from this type of locomotive engine technology are many.
Railserve specializes in what is called “railcar switching”. That is, on-demand movement of both loaded and empty railcars within the confines of a customer’s facility (including petroleum refinery and petrochemical plant) and/or distribution centers. As you know, the best way to consume large quantities of gasoline is inner city driving, with all the stops and starts and idling. That is where Railserve LEAF makes a great contribution.
The focus is on traction. The electricity is still generated by diesel fuel but the way it is applied to the wheels is more efficient. The combination of a Cummins energy efficient engine and modern electronic control systems creates a locomotive that is up to 65% more efficient than traditional locomotives. Furthermore, NOx emissions are reduced by as much as 92%, and CO2 emissions are reduced due to lower fuel consumption, as much 72% less fuel.
In addition, the more efficient engines are heavier for greater tractive effort. The locomotive weighs more than standard 4 axle switch locomotives. This saves on fuel. Moreover, the control technology shuts the engine down after 5 minutes of idling time. Startup is as easy as pushing a button, a convenience that also offers fuel savings.
Jeff Yarbrough states, “Our Railserve LEAF (Low Emission and Fuel) locomotives are manufactured in Longview, TX. They are designed to save on diesel consumption by 50-60% and reduce emission output (NOx and PM 2.5) by 92% and 99% respectively, when compared to a conventional diesel locomotive. Railserve uses these locomotives in the switching services and operations our company provides. The locomotive is available commercially in the US, Canada and Africa”.