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Progress Rail set to ship LNG-powered locomotives

Keywords: Tags  Caterpillar, Progress Rail Services, Douglas R. Oberhelman, liquefied natural gas, LNG, locomotives, BNSF, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Progress Rail Services Corp. expects to ship its first locomotives powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in November, chairman and chief executive officer Douglas R. Oberhelman told investors during an earnings conference call.

"We’ve been working on that all year. It’s a big effort and it’s one way to address the Tier 4 situation coming up in a couple of years for rail," he said, referring to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards for diesel engines and generators. Some engine makers are producing alternate fuel-powered mobile equipment to meet the EPA’s overall emission reduction goals for 2015.

"I’m really excited about the possibility of LNG-powered locomotives in the near term," Oberhelman said.

Albertville, Ala.-based Progress Rail Services is a subsidiary of Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., which manufactures locomotives, rail cars and parts for both companies.

Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF Railway Co. said in March that it would test a small number of locomotives using liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel, which BNSF chairman and chief executive officer Matthew K. Rose said "is a potential transformational change for our railroad and for our industry" (, March 8).

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