Managing Energy and Emissions for Rail Operations

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) owns six diesel locomotives and is acquiring two additional locomotives. These locomotives, which are used for Amtrak passenger service between Raleigh and Charlotte, are old, lack emission controls, produce high emissions. However, a new locomotive with the latest emission controls costs $6 million. Therefore, to reduce emissions at lower cost, NCDOT is exploring the use of alternative fuels and retrofitted emission control technologies. Furthermore, NCDOT has made extensive capital improvements to the rail corridor, including removing grade crossings and other updates that eventually will improve travel speed. There is need to assess the effect of alternative fuels, retrofitted emission controls, and changes in the rail corridor on the energy efficiency and emissions for passenger service to determine which fuels to procure, compliance of retrofitted emission controls with vendor contract specifications, and operational benefits of corridor capital improvements. NCDOT is currently conducting a pilot study to retrofit a Blended After Treatment System (BATS) on locomotive NC 1859 to reduce NOₓ and particulate matter (PM) emissions. NC State is developing methods to evaluate the BATS. During 2018, NCDOT plans to replace the BATS on NC 1859 with a second generation system, and to install the second generation Advanced BATS on the other seven locomotives in the fleet. The retrofitted second generation ABATS will require validation based on real-world data. There is a new generation of alternative fuel, referred to as "renewable diesel," that is chemically different from biodiesel. In prior work, we have assessed the effect of various biodiesel blends on locomotive emissions based on portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS). However, there has been no evaluation of the effect of renewable diesel on locomotive energy use and emissions. Furthermore, there is as yet not a reliable method based on real world data for assessing the impact of corridor capital improvements on energy use and emissions of trains traveling on this corridor. Therefore, there is need to assess the effect of alternative fuels, retrofitted emission controls, and changes in the rail corridor on the energy efficiency and emissions for passenger service to determine which fuels to procure, compliance of retrofitted emission controls with vendor contract specifications, and operational benefits of corridor capital improvements. Furthermore, there is a need for real-world data upon which to base such estimates. The objectives of this research are to: (1) quantitatively evaluate the real-world performance of the retrofitted ABATS for each locomotive in which it is installed; (2) quantitatively assess the sensitivity of locomotive exhaust emission rates to differences in fuels, with a focus on renewable diesel versus ultra low sulfur petroleum diesel; and (3) develop a new planning-level capability to quantify the effect of corridor improvements on real-world locomotive activity, energy use, and emissions.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $219,996
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Managing Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Project Managers:

    Bolyard, Steven

  • Performing Organizations:

    North Carolina State University, Raleigh

    Department of Civil Engineering, Campus Box 7908
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27695-7908
  • Principal Investigators:

    Frey, H

  • Start Date: 20170801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01640080
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2017 4:13PM