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New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Improves Efficiency with Lower-Emission Locomotives

2020 New Orleans Public Belt New Locomotives Photo

NEW ORLEANS – May 22, 2020 The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), upgraded its locomotive fleet with the arrival of eight new locomotives to replace aging engines, improve efficiency, and lower overall emissions. Recognizable by their bright blue color, the new locomotives provide reliable service and support the short-line railroad’s commitment to integrating more sustainable business and operational practices.

The new EPA-classified Tier One locomotives will allow NOPB to reduce its fleet size by 46 percent, from 15 locomotives to eight. Fuel consumption will be reduced by 25 percent, and emission reductions include a 40 percent reduction in nitrous oxide (NOx), which pollutes the ozone layer and creates smog, along with a 50 percent reduction in particulate emissions.

In addition to fuel and emissions savings, the new leasing structure allows NOPB to achieve significant operational and capital savings.

“The New Orleans Public Belt is committed to providing safe, reliable and efficient rail transportation solutions. These new locomotives will be the backbone of our efforts. Not only can we reduce our fleet and fuel consumption, we can be better community neighbors,” said NOPB’s General Manager, M.D. “Mike” Stolzman.

NOPB is a Class III switching railroad with a mission of serving the Port of New Orleans, local customers, and the six Class I railroads that move cargo through the New Orleans gateway.

“Bringing these lower-emission locomotives on line supports Port NOLA’s and NOPB’s commitment to sustainability,” said Brandy D. Christian, CEO of NOPB and President and CEO of Port NOLA. “With the Port and NOPB now fully aligned, we are able to make strategic investments that provide air quality benefits for the community while providing superior service to our users and Class I partners.”

NOPB and Port NOLA have each piloted other innovative emissions reduction initiatives as a part of their respective strategic plans, including the Port of New Orleans Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program (Clean TRIP) and NOPB’s locomotive idle reduction plan. Now partners, Port NOLA and NOPB are working together to foster programs that address both the maritime and rail space.

Manufactured by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), the new locomotives comply with NOPB’s logo color standards and introduce a new bright blue color.