On-terminal locomotives – sometimes called a road or yard switcher – are the workhorses in the train-building process: they push heavy loads short distances at low speeds; make frequent stops; operate in forward and reverse and sit idle for long periods as they wait for railcars to be sorted.
The unit, called the Green Goat, “went into service without issue and has been on a regular schedule ever since,” said Heather Mantz, VPA’s director of environmental affairs. “It is living up to expectations: it has plenty of hauling power, it is very quiet at idle because that is when it is operating on battery power and it uses significantly less fuel than the locomotive it replaced did.”
It is estimated that Green Goat will save around US$143,000 in annual fuel costs and reduce the amount of diesel emissions coming from the terminal’s rail cargo operation. The unit is the first of three new yard locomotives that will replace the 1970s-vintage lease units being used at NIT. The remaining locomotives are scheduled for delivery in late winter or early spring 2009.