GREEN RAIL NEWS “Green” Locomotive Roundup

Edited by Jody Moore of



Progress Rail in Mayfield, KY released two more SD59MX ECO conversions for UNION PACIFIC during May. UP 9922 was spotted in Memphis on May 2 shortly after leaving the plant, and UP 9910 was reported out of Mayfield by May 9. Both units were being moved by UP to California for service there.

Joe Ferguson caught the 9910 in transit through Fulton, KY on May 9.


In addition to a 3GS21B genset that was mentioned in the September 2011 CRO, Green Rail News has also learned that TACOMA RAIL has received two EMD GP22ECO repowered units. TMBL 2200 and 2201 are former GP40’s. Conversion work was done at Progress Rail in Tacoma, WA, only a few blocks from the Tacoma Rail shops on the Tideflats in Tacoma.

Here’s a link to an online photo of TMBL 2200, which has been identified as former Canadian-American Railroad 40: CLICK HERE


Industrial Railway Switching and Services is putting the wraps on its first production “Lean and Green” model LG1005 switcher. When complete, the locomotive will be delivered to US STEEL as their USSX 44, for use in the Gary, IN Tube City plant. The LG1005 prototype, LOCX 1005, is currently at the facility.

The Lean and Green switchers haven’t gotten much press in this column. They’re not exactly a genset locomotive per se, but feature a good deal of innovation. The main power comes from an MTU 12V2000 V-12 engine rated at 1,005hp. Much like Progress Rails PR43C locomotive, the LG1005 also has a smaller 135Kw John Deere APU that handles all of the auxiliary loads like air compressor, cooling fans, blowers, etc. and also provides power at lower throttle settings.


A look at the MTU motor on USSX 44

IRS&S CMO Jack Siffert hosted Green Rail News at the company’s plant in Lorain, OH to view the 44 under construction and talk about the product at greater length. The driving force behind the locomotive is to re-use as much of the existing donor locomotive as possible, and combine it with easy to find, off the shelf parts. Apart from a few proprietary systems like the controls and choppers, the Lean and Green uses components that are readily available, meaning that the locomotive can be back in service without costly down time.

The prototype and the 44 are both EPA Tier 2 rated, but thanks to developments in the APU and prime movers, all future locomotives will be Tier 4i rated. IRS&S also offers a 1,500 hp version of the Lean and Green.

USSX 44 under construction in Lorain, OH

According to a check of the frame number, USSX 44 was originally built for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1957 as B&O 9616. It later served for Indiana Hi-Rail as their 216.

Learn more about the Lean and Green offerings at the company’s website,


GRN’s editor drove past the NRE/VMV in Paducah, KY on the evening of May 15, 2012, and was pleasantly surprised to see a fresh genset mother and slug set for NEPTUNE BULK TERMINALS sitting outside the shop.

Similar to the other two sets delivered, the mother, a 3GS21B, is Neptune 809, and the slug is numbered 809A. These new locomotives should be delivering pretty soon, but had not shipped as of May 19.

The following morning, the author shot these photos of the Neptune set at the plant:

NRE 2GS14B end-cab demonstrator locomotive NREX 1400 is presently being used on the CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILWAY between Independence and Akron, OH. The scenic railway runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The author caught the unit on a train after it arrived back at the CVSR shops in Independence on May 17, 2012.


On May 13, three former CSX TRANSPORTATION B36-7’s were noted in transit at CSX’s Barr Yard in Chicago, destined for NRE for conversion to genset locomotive. The core units were moving as NREX 5904, NREX 5875 and NREX 5575. It is not yet known what model they will be converted to. Thanks to Sean Graham-White and others for contributing to this report.

On May 1, US ARMY 3GS21B USAX 6512, destined for Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, CO, arrived in Denver for final movement to the fort. After being set up to move south, the unit was transferred by the BNSF’s Pikes Peak Local to the Fort Carson Railhead on May 3.

Frequent contributor Colorado Zephyr followed the Pikes Peak Local from Big Lift south to Fort Carson on May 3, and sent photos of the unit at Big Lift, and again at Palmer Lake:

 Big Lift:


Palmer Lake:



In addition to PR30B locomotive SJVR 3000, two Progress PR30C’s have been dispatched to the ARIZONA and CALIFORNIA in Parker, AZ. PRLX 3002 and 3003 were noted at the ARZC yard on May 12.

After finishing its tour on the NEW YORK, SUSQUEHANNA and WESTERN RAILROAD in Ridgefield Park, NJ, in late April, PR22B genset demonstrator PRLX 2009 was shipped back to Progress’ shop in Patterson, GA. The unit was dropped off in Patterson in early May 2012.


RAILSERVE is moving another LEAF conversion west for BIG WEST OIL in North Salt Lake City, UT. This unit is built on the body of a former GTW SW9 of the same number. It had served RSSX at DuPont in Woodstock, TN prior to conversion. The unit is unique in that it was painted blue with the Big West logos on the sides and end rather than Railserve’s normal yellow. The author spotted it in transit on Union Pacific in North Little Rock, AR on May 15, 2012.


One of the ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND-owned Railserve LEAF locomotives was spotted at ADM’s facility in Decatur, IL recently. The reclusive locomotives spend most of their time in the plant, and aren’t easily visible from public property.

ADMX 1675 reportedly started life as a GP50. According to press releases, it may be a twin-engine LEAF unit, but those reports haven’t been verified. Green Rail News managed one very poor quality shot of the 1675 in the ADM plant from the road.

Also seen at ADM in Decatur were Railserve LEAFs RSSX 1051, 1681, 5810, and 8345, all of which the GRN author photographed at work in the yard just north and west of the ADM plant.


While passing through Longview, TX en route from Texas to New York, GRN was fortunate to catch two Railserve LEAF locomotives working one of the evening jobs at the Texas Eastman plant. The normally reclusive locomotives typically don’t come out of the plant complex, except to pick up or drop off cars. So it was pure luck that we spotted LEAF-repowered former Railpower Green Goats RSSX 9140 and 1621 shoving a cut of cars out of view and back into the plant.



Contributor Robert Muir was able to confirm in mid-May that RPRX 1411 is indeed the locomotive being used by RJ CORMAN to switch the new Toyota yard in Blue Springs, MS. Also present is GP9 RJCC 1737.

RPRX 1411 was rebuilt from cabless RP14BD BNSF 1211, which itself was rebuilt from a GG20B of the same number. According to Muir, the builder's decal showed a serial number of RP143-001, and a conversion date of Dec. 2011. Robert sent along the following photos of the unit:

According, GG20B RPRX 1705 has been returned to TMS in Altoona, PA to be cut down and converted into a genset locomotive. Early reports are that the locomotive is being built for Rail America, but the model and exact railroad it is being built for are still not known.

Railpower demonstrator RPRX 2009 has been lettered for NORTHWESTERN PACIFIC. The RP20BD locomotive is on long-term lease to the NWP for use on their line Marin County, CA, north of San Francisco. We will try to have photos of the 2009 for next month’s Roundup.


© CRO June 2012