GREEN RAIL NEWS “Green” Locomotive Roundup

Edited by Jody Moore


Editors Note: Due to time restraints Green Rail News for December is unavailable.

 We have included the September version for your review.

It will return in the January issue.



September 2011




In mid-August, Brookville’s BL20CG prototype/demonstrator BMEX 259 was released from Brookville’s shop in fresh and flashy red paint for new owner CENTRAL CALIFORNIA TRACTION. The unit will soldier on in California as CCT 2101. No word yet on whether this will be the only unit for CCT, or whether additional units are forthcoming.





Both of the NORFOLK SOUTHERN slug mothers that are being prepared with 710ECO engines made appearances outside Thoroughbred Mechanical Services in Altoona, PA recently, and Lance Myers sent us photos of both. GP22ECO-M NS 5900, formerly GP38AC NS 4105, was the first to be rolled out of the shop, in early July, sans long hood. Lance, operator of the Altoonaworks website, took these two photos showing the 5100’s 8-710G3A-T2 engine:



In late July, the 5900 was again outside the shop, this time with hood applied.



And finally, in late August, Lance found the 5101, former GP38AC NS 4117, in almost the same spot the 5100 had occupied a month earlier. Like the first shots of the 5100, 5101 also was showing off its 710ECO engine:



The NS ECO repowers will serve as mothers for two slug units, both of which are also undergoing conversion at TMS using GP38 cores NS 2888 and 2881.


Electromotive has shipped a rumored Tier 3-compliant SD70ACe demonstrator to September’s RSI Interchange Show in Minneapolis, MN. The unit is shipping with a tarp covering most of the locomotive. The tarp carries an EMD logo, and is spray painted EMDX 2012. Myles Roach got a photo of the mystery unit in Windsor, Ontario on Aug. 28.





TACOMA RAIL has taken delivery of its first genset, an NRE 3GS21B-DE locomotive, numbered TMBL 2100. The delivery came as a surprise to some, as Tacoma Rail had previously announced a deal with Progress to repower three locomotives. After a quick heads-up from a friend and a frantic ride trackside, Al Seever arrived literally just minutes before the 2100, and managed to get this photo of the locomotive in Minneapolis, MN:



Just days after its arrival on Tacoma Rail property, the 2100 was shown off during the railroad’s 2011 open house, pulling passenger trains opposite 1922-built Polson Logging Co. 70, a Baldwin 2-8-2 that was recently rebuilt by the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. YouTube user Railhead1956 posted this video of the two working passenger trains on Aug. 27, two days after the 2100’s arrival in Tacoma.


In late August, SAVAGE TRANSPORTIATION took delivery of a 2GS14B genset for use in a refinery in El Segundo, CA. SVGX 8625 was built on the frame of former Soo Line GP9 4203, and now features a flashy green, blue and orange paint scheme with white lettering. On August 18, Wes Chiles caught the 8625 headed through Topeka, KS in the consist of a westbound Union Pacific freight train.



Just in time for September’s RSI Interchange show in Minneapolis, MN, NRE rolled two new demonstrators out of its Mt. Vernon, IL shop. First up was a new 2GS14B demonstrator, NREX 1400. This unit features an end cab configuration similar to CANFOR 104 delivered earlier this year. It was built on the frame of former Fort Worth and Western GP7 FWWR 1500, and carries the serial number 5170-13, making it the second locomotive to carry that serial number. (FWWR 2013 also carries that serial number, though it was built on the frame of an ex-CN GP9, with the 1500 received in trade.)


Joe Ferguson sent us these shots of the new NREX 1400 in Mount Vernon:



The second photo shows radical new 2GS36C genset demonstrator NREX 3600. The locomotive is powered by a pair of Cummins QSK50 diesels, each putting out 1,800 hp, for a combined total of 3,600 hp. It was built on the frame of former Union Pacific SD40-2 UPB 4231. The locomotive is NRE’s first entry into the high-horsepower genset market, competing directly with Progress’ PR43C twin engine unit, which features a 3,600hp prime mover and a 700hp genset, and EMD’s single engine SD22ECO and SD32ECO rebuild packages.


Joe also sent us these photos of the NREX 3600:



Former Dofasco SW9 418 has been rebuilt into a 1GS7B single engine genset for ARCELLORMITTAL as their 418. No idea yet where the unit is headed to. We received these photos from an anonymous source:



CSX TRANSPORTATION has ordered an additional four 3GS21B locomotives from NRE. The units, which will be numbered CSXT 1321-1324, are now in process at NRE Dixmoor. According to Ken Lanovich, they are being built on new frames.


One item left out of last month’s issue: INDIANA HARBOR BELT has ordered four additional genset units from NRE. The units will be six axle 3GS21C locomotives, and will replace four SD20 locomotives currently in service. No word on whether the SD20’s will be used as cores, or will be traded in after the delivery of the new units.




NORFOLK SOUTHERN PR43C NS 4002 has been released from Progress in full NS paint. It is speculated that the unit will be headed to Roanoke, VA for dynamic testing similar to the tests NS has conducted on several other genset and ECO power packages. William Davis got this shot of the 4002 in Norris Yard in Atlanta, GA on Aug. 26, 2011.



The flow of rebuilt units for PACIFIC HARBOR LINE to and from Progress’ Tacoma, WA facility continued during August. On August 29, MP20C-3 PHL 64 and MP20B PHL 21 were noted in Pasco, WA after arriving on the M-BARPAS from Barstow, CA.


In mid-August PHL 20, a rebuilt MP20B, was billed from Tacoma back to Pacific Harbor Line.




 In a press release dated April 24, 2011 but not released until late August, Railpower announced that they had received an order for two additional units for MONTREAL PORT AUTHORITY for delivery in early 2012. The units will feature a shortened-nose cab, and will be built to be compatible with the Port’s existing slugs, making them the first slug mothers built by Railpower. Here’s the full text of the press release from RJ Corman, in PDF format:


On Aug. 17, RJC Railpower announced the sale of one RP20BD kit for NORFOLK SOUTHERN’s Conrail New York Shared Assets area. According to the press release, the purchase of the locomotive was accomplished through a public-private partnership consisting of monies from New Jersey DOT, New York/New Jersey Port Authority, and Norfolk Southern. for the full text of the press release in PDF format. is trying to verify rumors that RP20BD demonstrator/lease units RPRX 5402 and 5404 have been sold to the MODESTO & EMPIRE TRACTION. Rumors have the units becoming M&ET 2007 and 2008, numbered behind the five units currently on order and bringing the total M&ET fleet to nine gensets.


Lance Myers caught CSX TRANSPORTATION’s sole RP20BD genset, CSXT 1320, outside ot TMS in full paint in early August. The unit is receiving finishing touches before being shipped from Altoona, PA.  Lance sent us several good photos of the unit being moved:



In late August, Lance also snapped this photo of unpainted RP20CD CSXT 1603, the last of three six-axle gensets being built at TMS.



RJ CORMAN-owned GG20B hybrid locomotives RSSX 414 and RPRX 2406 were spotted in Chicago mid-month, reportedly moving to Relco in Albia, IA. The reason for the move was not known, but they are suspected to be headed for stripping, probably for conversion to genset to fulfill one of the pending orders that RJC Railpower has open. RPRX 2406, formerly CP 1700 and AMTK 599, was reportedly taken out of service last year, and was being used as a parts source for GG20B RPRX 1701, formerly CP 1701. The RSSX 414 has barely turned a wheel as a hybrid, having reportedly suffered serious ground relay problems since being converted by Railserve in 2006. It was swapped with Railpower for GG20B demonstrator RPRX 2401 as part of a settlement in 2008. The 2401 was stripped and converted into a LEAF single engine genset by Railserve, while the 414 languished in Texas for some time before finally being shipped to Kentucky late last year.


The Roundup editor found the 414 and 2406 staged up in Versailles, KY late at night on June 8, 2011, and snapped these night photos of the units:


© CRO December 2011