More rave reveiws for NRE's switchers

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More rave reveiws for NRE's switchers

Postby MEC407 » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:06 pm

(Note: these are NOT "Green Goats." These are the units that use two or three medium-speed engines, rather than one small engine and a huge bank of batteries, as is the case with the GG units.)


TACOMA, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Railway Equipment Co. (NREC) recently provided a demonstrator locomotive to Tacoma Rail to test its operational benefits over its older EMD four-axle units. The NREC test locomotive is a two-engine 1400 HP GenSet (2GS-14B) 4-axle unit.

The operational test included normal yard operations over a two-week period. During that time, all Tacoma Rail management and maintenance staff operated or witnessed the unit in operation. Also present at the test were a City of Tacoma council member, representatives from the Washington Department of Ecology/Air quality, the Port of Tacoma’s Environmental Department, and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

The demonstration provided the following results:

* For over 90% of the in-service time, only one of the two GenSets was needed
* Idle time was reduced by 80%
* Estimated fuel consumption was reduced by 70%
* Estimated emissions were significantly reduced by up to 85%
* Due to tractive effort improvement, sand use was reduced by over 80%
* Due to improved tractive effort only a single unit was used vs. two units on certain operations
* Crew comfort improvements included dramatically reduced noise levels, a significant reduction in smoke emissions, and better visibility due to the lower long hood and the inclusion of more rear cab windows
* On railroads where NREC GenSets are used, maintenance costs have been reduced by over 50%

NREC’s vice president marketing and sales James M. Wurtz said, “Indeed these results are dramatic. I do not recall a newly released locomotive model ever achieving similar comparative results. We certainly are proud of the performance of the N-ViroMotive GenSets.”

National Railway Equipment Co., headquartered in Mt. Vernon, IL, is the designer, developer and manufacturer of the industry’s first Ultra Low Emitting GenSet Locomotives. The world’s largest independent locomotive rebuilder and remanufacturer, NREC is also a locomotive lessor. It has locomotive, diesel engine and parts facilities in fourteen locations throughout the United States and Canada.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sir Ray » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:20 am

As you can see from other threads in this forum in regards to Railpower, and on their own website, Railpower is moving away from primarily Hybrid locomotives sales and toward GenSets (2 or 3 engines) - their most recent contract w/ UP is for 4 6-axle Gensets.
Seems like, with much of 'cutting-edge' electrical vehicles, the generation (alternators), control systems, and motors are ready to go (and in the case of locomotives, have had many, many decades of development), but the battery/energy storage capacity & reliability just isn't there yet. Therefore, just hook up that generation/control/motor systems to small diesel engine units and run them as needed in multiple units (heh - running locomotives in multiple units as needed, with each locomotive running it's 2 or 3 internal engines in multiple as needed), as opposed to designing for systems dependant on 'ultimate' batteries that are taking a long time to develop...
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Postby pablo » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:14 am

I'd like to hear some specifics about how well the Green Goats have faired. Nothing seems good, but just the same, I agree that the GG's could have been more successful. I suspect, too, it's the battery technology will doom them.

If anyone saw the results of the GE Evo hybrid unit that sailed into LA with much fanfare not too long ago, you'll see that they didn't have it on line most of its journey across country, because they were testing the battery life under normal conditions, and as such, they admitted to finding some issues dealing with vibration and the battery. The press release admits to as much.

NRE's stats, if they are true (let's assume that they are), make this concept look like a winner. How heavy duty would this unit's work have been when it was there?

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Postby mxdata » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:06 pm

The NRE maintenance cost claims are based on how much field experience with the equipment?
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Postby pablo » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:47 pm

Exactly my point...and I saw those claims and immediately started thinking about steam vs. diesel comparisons when the diesels first came out, and how flawed those comparisons were.

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Postby mxdata » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:05 pm

Small high speed diesels do fairly well in vehicles that run on rubber tires, tracked vehicles that operate over dirt, marine installations, and stationary generation. They do not like riding around on a locomotive underframe when they are shut down, as was discovered a long time ago with HEP engines. The result is usually about the same as if you took the individual parts and dropped them continually on the workbench for a long time, then put them in an engine and tried to run it.

Maybe this time they have discovered a way to do this that eluded previous designers. Time will tell.
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Postby Herr Spreng » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:13 pm

NREC's claims sound like the usual sales manager BS to my trained ears. What exactly is their baseline for all these numbers ?

On another level, these TES's have a high-level of 'buy-outs' such as engines, alternators, etc. coupled with recycled frames, trucks and motors. I wonder what the value added portion of the product is-the part that will generate loong term profits. Maybe that issue was the downfall of Railpower ?
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Postby EDM5970 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:36 pm

I was about to question Mxdata's post about small high speed engines, then read it a second time. I was going to ask just what was wrong with the Cummins engines, for example, as used on the myriad GE industrial models.

Then I re-read the sentence about "riding around on a locomotive underframe when they are shut down", and the significance of the statement sunk in. On a genset locomotive, two or more of the gensets may be shut down under light load conditions. I suspect the shock and vibration would shake all of the oil out of them, and they would restart "dry".

I tried to market a line of pre-lube pumps a few years back, and got a real ho-hum response. (No one wants to spend any money-) I wonder if circulating oil through the engines that are on stand-by would make them last longer.

I agree, these units have not been out long enough for anyone, user OR manufacturer, to come up with any solid long-term maintenance costs. Its like the U-haul trailer my son and I saw a few weeks ago, boasting "20% easier to tow". How did they quantify that claim?
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Postby mxdata » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:57 pm

You nailed it exactly, it is not unusual to see 3 G's on the platform in railroad service, and being subjected to this repeatedly, day after day, is very destructive of engines that are being carried around while shut down. This lesson was learned decades ago in some of the earliest HEP installations. How quickly they forget the past.

And while some engines function well in HEP service (Cummins K19, Cat 3406 and 3412 for example), there were also a number of other engines tried in HEP service over the last couple decades that were expensive disappointments (remember the original HEP engines in the MBTA stretch F40's, that were all changed out for K19's? How long did they last?).

Notice also that every time one of these "new" concepts pops up there are a swarm of enthusiastic supporters that think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if the equipment subsequently goes belly up you can never find any of those people around to comment on what might have caused the problems.
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Postby MEC407 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:07 pm

More kudos for NRE genset switchers, this time from the Nashville & Eastern Railroad:

October 25, 2007 10:54 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Nashville & Eastern RR Delighted with N-ViroMotive GenSet Locomotive Performance

MT. VERNON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In sixteen days of operation the Nashville & Eastern Railroad (NERR) experienced better than expected fuel saving and overall performance of an N-ViroMotive “GenSet locomotive” from National Railway Equipment Co. (NREC). NREX 2009 (3GS-21B N-ViroMotive) was loaned to the railroad for a trial in switching operations last September.

The N-ViroMotive GenSet locomotive has three microprocessor-controlled modular engine-generator sets that operate alone or in tandem with each other as the pulling load dictates.

Craig Wade, NERR vice president and general manager, said, “All the employees really loved it. It only used one of its three engines all day and we really liked that computer, which kept it from slipping up a grade in the wet weather. Everybody was amazed at how quiet it was.”

A very pleased chief mechanical officer, Gene Turnage, said as the test was completed, “This was the first time I’ve been under promised and over delivered. We hoped for about a 40% fuel savings and it looks like it was closer to 50%.” He further noted that his operators, “Hardly ever needed but one engine in much of their switching operations.”

“This test with the Nashville & Eastern demonstrates the advantages of our GenSet design with microprocessor control of three modular engine-generator sets in significantly reducing fuel consumption as well as emissions, while still providing superior tractive effort efficiency,” said Jim Wurtz, NREC's vice president marketing and sales.

The Nashville and Eastern Railroad was formed in 1986 to resurrect short-line freight rail operations over 110 miles of neglected track in middle Tennessee. Since its start-up, NERR has worked collaboratively with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority to reconstruct the track and upgrade 77 bridges. Today, NERR provides essential freight service to its industrial and commercial customers in central Tennessee.

National Railway Equipment Co., headquartered in Mt. Vernon, IL, is a leading locomotive designer, developer and manufacturer of the industry's first Ultra Low Emitting GenSet Locomotives. NREC has locomotive, diesel engine and related parts manufacturing facilities in fourteen locations throughout the United States and Canada.
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Postby mxdata » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:39 pm

Nice of you to publish NRE's press releases. Is Lawrence (the owner) a friend? :wink:
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Postby MEC407 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:36 pm

Nope, I don't know anybody at NRE and I have no connection to them. I subscribe to an e-mail service that alerts me whenever the word "locomotive" appears in various newspapers and publications around the country.
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Postby mxdata » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:04 pm

Next time I see Lawrence I will tell him that he should be watching this discussion.
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Re: More rave reveiws for NRE's switchers

Postby ex Budd man » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:07 pm

Septa just received a get-set loco from NRE. Diesel 70 will join five other engines on the roster to be used as needed for rescues, wire train service and other non revenue duties. It has two gen-sets totaling 1400 hp.
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