“Green Goats” Use Hybrid Technology for Locomotion

Yard locomotives used to move storage cars never leave the railroad yard, but they use the same diesel and cause the same pollution as a train that travels across the country. Rail yards in Texas will get a break from the diesel smoke however because Railpower Technologies of Canada received a contract to supply at least 25 Green Goat hybrid-electric yard locomotives to rail companies in the state.

Vancouver, Canada – July 30, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] A grant of US$ 24.4 million to fund the Green Goat purchases came from the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) and will be split between the companies that applied for the hybrid technology. “Our technology brings very significant operating and fuel cost savings to railroad switching operators, as well as the benefits of very large reductions in NOx, particulate and greenhouse gas emissions and noise,” RailPower President and CEO Jim Maier said. Green Goat yard locomotives are known as hybrid switchers. A large bank of six lead acid batteries powers the electric traction motors on the engine’s axles. A small diesel-fueled prime mover generator constantly charges the batteries. Green Goats are remanufactured from existing switcher locomotives, and the hybrid engines can cut nitrogen oxide and other polluting particulates between 80 and 90 percent. Diesel fuel consumption can be reduced up to 80 percent on remanufactured yard switchers that run in the 1,000 to 2,000 horsepower range. Rail yards aren’t the only fossil fuel consumers to benefit from the latest round of TERP grants. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a total of $US 80 million in grants to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions created by heavy construction equipment, locomotives, large trucks, tugboats and push boats.
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