GE's 4,500 HP Locomotive

It’s always nice to know along with extremely high worker productivity and a very hard working people, America’s heavy industry is still able to deliver manufactured goods that compete and are sold on the global market. What better combination of brawn and brains than a modern green locomotive, and in Erie, Pennsylvania, that is exactly what is flying out of the factory and into the world.

General Electric has recently delivered their 1,000th production line “Evolution” series locomotive, an ultra-modern 4,500 horsepower unit that sets high standards for efficiency and emissions reductions. Overall the Evolution locomotive has 40% lower emissions compared to earlier locomotives.

GE’s “Evolution” Series Locomotive.
(Photo: General Electric)

Not only did GE work with American regulators to make certain their new locomotive met new more stringent emissions requirements, but at the same time they were able to improve the efficiency of the engine by 3%, which saves 10,000+ gallons of diesel fuel per year for the average engine.

GE’s Evolution locomotive also has lower lifecycle costs than earlier locomotives because it has been engineered to require longer time intervals between running maintenance stops and major overhauls.

According to an online interview with Pete Lawson, one of the Product Line Managers for Evolution freight locomotive in North America, “not only can we address the significant environmental concerns with our product, but we can do that by delivering value to our customers.” There are customers all over the world for the GE Evolution locomotive, including those in China, Kazakhastan and Mexico – and elsewhere – who choose them at least partly because they have lower emissions even though emissions are not required to be that low in their countries.

Getting 4,500 HP from an engine that’s cleaner, uses 3% less fuel per HP, and relies on 12 cylinders instead of 16 may not be a breakthrough, but it’s the cleanest, greenest locomotive yet devised. Global rail requires moving a lot of heavy metal, and the more clean and efficient we can get it the better. That counts for something, in our biggest and cleanest century yet, in this combustion fueled renaissance of world civilization.

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3 Responses to “GE's 4,500 HP Locomotive”
  1. David Johansen says:

    Why not use an electric train? Why is this not viable? Are the goods too heavy or is ”the money” still too cheap to install electric railways? – in my country, Denmark, we have electric railways (not everywhere though)
    Going electric would minimise greenhouse gas emissions, and limiting greenhouse gas emmisions seem like the general idea behind the new product line, as well as lowering fuel consumption, obviously.
    As you stated, this does not seem like a breakthrough at all – rather more like a postponing of the inevitable confrontation with high oil prices and the need to run transportation devices on something other than refined oil.

  2. guy says:

    Bless you my boy from Denmark did you read another liberal blog? How stupid can some of you people be if nothing changes; electricity is produced by hydro, nuclear, or carbon products. Coal actually produces fifty per cent of the electric power in the U.S.

  3. Bad Bike Bob says:

    It is electric the diesel generates electricity and the electric motors pull the train. That how it’s been done for 50 years or so. What is really cool are electric trains with no electric motors. Or the whole train and track acts as an electric motor.


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