By SAM ALDRIDGE • for www.AllOTSEGO.com
The railway company, based in Cooperstown, has partnered with the state Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) to install four anti-idling engines on their locomotives to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. The Utica-based Mohawk Adirondack and Northern is also participating.
Up until now, diesel engines have been used to keep their locomotives warm during perennially frigid winter nights. The older diesel technology required the engines to idle overnight, resulting in both unnecessarily high costs to the railway company and high amounts of pollution to the surrounding environment and communities.
The new engines, called water-heating auxiliary power units, or APUs, heat and circulate water to keep the locomotive warm while the train is parked outside overnight.
Technology of this kind is by no means cheap – each APU unit costs between $25,000 and $30,000. Funding for the NYSW’s new energy-saving units was provided through NYSERDA via the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the DEC’s Diesel Reduction Program. The anti-idling generators will replace the older engines, slashing overnight fuel consumption by up to 80 percent, and are estimated to pay for themselves through fuel savings in less than two years.
NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes hailed the new systems for their diverse advantages, saying it is “yet another example of the importance of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision program, and the benefits that occur when government and business work together to achieve environmental goals.”