Ride Along on the Train

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Apr 1, 2010  |  Updated 3:31 PM PDT
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Ride Along on the Train

NBCSanDiego

Two new freight trains will be moving a lot of goods between San Diego and the U.S.-Mexico border but at a much lower cost to the environment.

The locomotives were unveiled Wednesday with a lot of fanfare at the Santa Fe Train Depot downtown. The two low-emission locomotives will replace three trains using technology from the 1950s.

The new engines will reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 85 to 90 percent and have an average fuel savings of 20 to 30 percent.

“You’re going to see from these locomotives state-of-the-art operations with reduced carbon emissions, reduced nitrogen oxide commission and they’re quieter in the community,” said Tina Casgar SANDAG. “They operate at night so you want to make them as quiet as possible.”

The Air Pollution Control District received $1.7 million from a California Air Resource Board grant program to cover 60 percent of the cost of the locomotives, which are operated by the San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad (SDIV).

For every boxcar moving on the rails, three trucks can be removed from the state’s highways, according to SDIV GM Don Seil .

“These trains pull a lot of tonnage through the community and we want to do that as efficiently as possible,” Casgar said.

The SDIV is a property of RailAmerica Inc., and runs on 33 miles along the MTS Trolley lines between San Diego and El Cajon, and San Diego and San Ysidro.

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