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WOODLAND, CA: July 22, 2019. Genesee & Wyoming has put two low-emission locomotives into service with its subsidiary California Northern Railroad Company (CFNR).

The new units were purchased with a US$3.7 million grant provided by California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District to encourage rail operators to adopt cleaner technologies.

GW low emissions locoBuilt by Knoxville Locomotive Works in Tennessee, the 2,400-horsepower diesel locomotives use selective catalytic reduction technology to provide fuel savings of 25 percent while reducing diesel emissions – carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) – by 80 percent compared to the two circa-1976 locomotives being replaced.

“Short line railroads such as the California Northern, which provide the ‘first and last mile’ of freight service linking local customers to the large national railroads, are small businesses with duty cycles that don’t require brand new locomotives,” said CFNR president Brad Ovitt.

Despite acknowledging the benefits to communities served by the railroad, Ovitt said the purchase “would not [have been] possible for us to do on a stand-alone basis”.

CFNR serves businesses on 256 miles of track between Los Banos and Tehama, California transporting approximately 25,000 annual carloads of agricultural products, animal feed, beer and wine, chemicals, cheese, construction products, lumber and steel. The company was acquired by G&W in 2012.

Earlier this month G&W announced it was being purchased by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC in a transaction valued at US$8.4 billion, including debt.

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