Trains News Wire EXCLUSIVE: Norfolk Southern begins GP33ECO locomotive program

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NS GP33ECO No 4700 Juniata shop Allen Rider photo
The first GP33ECO begins to take shape at Juniata Shops in late April.
Allen Rider – Norfolk Southern
ALTOONA, Pa. – Norfolk Southern’s Juniata Locomotive Shop has begun a new rebuild program to convert older four-axle EMD locomotives to modern, low-emissions road switchers. The first locomotive to enter the program was NS GP50 No. 7004 in late April, which will emerge as GP33ECO No. 4700. At present, 25 GP50s are scheduled to move through the program and will be numbered NS Nos. 4700-4724.

The project is partially funded by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality emission reduction grants from the states of Illinois and Georgia. Fifteen GP33ECOs will be assigned to the Chicago area and the remaining 10 will be based in Atlanta.

The program will take existing high-hood GP50s of Southern Railway heritage and rebuild them with new 12-710ECO prime movers producing 3000 horsepower, larger radiators to support separate aftercooling which will assist in meeting Tier-3 emissions standards, new crashworthy Admiral Cabs, EMD EM2000 microprocessor system, Automatic Engine Start Stop system, stand-by plug-in heaters allowing shutdown in cold weather, air conditioning, and other modern features.

Along with the 25 GP33ECOs, 13 RP-M4C slugs will be produced to create GP33ECOs mother-slug sets. Three mother-slug sets will be assigned to the Chicago area with the remaining 10 based in Atlanta. All GP33ECOs will be equipped with the necessary equipment and connections to be mothers for the slugs if necessary. “RP-M4C” stands for Remote Powered-Microprocessor 4-axle Cab. The PR-M4Cs will be of similar design to the 610-class RP-M4C slugs that are currently operating with Norfolk Southern GP59Es. Although specific road numbers haven’t been selected yet, Norfolk Southern intends to assign 610-series numbers to the slugs.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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