General Electric Corporation on Thursday announced that it is preparing to ship its 1,000th Evolution(R) Series locomotive.
The milestone will be achieved just 17 months after GE began commercial production of Evolution locomotives. The 1000th unit, an ES44DC model which bears road number 5972, will be delivered to BNSF Railway. It is one of nearly 750 Evolution locomotives ordered by BNSF, which is aggressively adding capacity to meet the growing demand for rail transportation.
"The rail industry is experiencing remarkable growth, due to increased demand for raw materials and consumer goods," explained John M. Dineen, President and CEO of GE Transportation. "While railroading is widely recognized as an environmentally responsible way to ship freight, Evolution Series locomotives help further improve that environmental performance while giving GE and its customers a new, reliable platform for future emissions reductions and fuel savings."
Evolution Series locomotives achieve a 3-5% fuel savings over the previous generation of GE locomotives and reduce, on average, regulated emissions by more than 40%. The locomotives were the first to meet the EPAs Tier II emissions standards and they are among the first of 17 products in GEs Ecomagination portfolio. Ecomagination is a GE initiative to bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet their most pressing environmental challenges.
"Working with our suppliers to develop new technologies, the rail industry is committed to leading the way in improving fuel efficiency and reducing pollution," said Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. "And with freight traffic expected to more than double over the next 10 years, it is more important than ever to make investments that not only expand the capacity of the rail network for businesses around the nation, but expand our contribution to the environment by moving more freight on rail and less on the highway."
The Evolution Series was developed over seven years at a cost of more than $250 million. The locomotive features a new 12-cylinder engine, an innovative hybrid cooling system and a brand new control system. GE expects to manufacture more than 850 locomotives in 2006, about 700 of which will be Evolution Series models.
Compared to locomotives manufactured 20 years ago, many of which are still in use, the GE Evolution Series locomotive reduces pollution by producing 67 percent fewer particulates and 60 percent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions.
"GE is committed to being a leader in the development of technology that helps better the environment," stated Lorraine Bolsinger, Vice President of Ecomagination at GE. "Today, we generate over $10 billion in revenues each year from products that help our customers achieve significant environmental performance advantages. By 2010, we expect to generate $20 billion annually in sales from ecomagination products."
As part of ecomagination, GE has committed to double by 2010 its research investment into cleaner technologies including wind energy, water treatment products and coal gasification while also reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the end of 2012.