Kansas City Southern Railroad employs ZTR Control Systems’ anti-idling devices on switch locomotives

Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCS) has been recognized for its efforts in reducing CO2 and NOx emissions, accomplished by installing anti-idling devices on five switch locomotives operating in the yards. The installation of the anti-idling devices was made possible through 75% funding provided by a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council, which received its funding from Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources, which was allocating Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

KCS executive chairman said, “This project has resulted in a CO2 emission reduction of 275 tons and as much as 550 tons per year; a NOx emission reduction of 7.3 tons and as much as 14 tons per year; and a total fuel savings per year of 25 000 gallons [94 635 L]. The data collected so far indicates that emission reductions are significantly greater than originally anticipated.”

The company estimates idling time is reduced by about 350 hours per month and the switch locomotives burn about 9.5 L of fuel per hour. The switching locomotives are powered by EMD switch engines from the 1970s with outputs rated at about 895 kW.

The work cycle on switching locomotives calls for a lot of idling time between moving back and forth between the rail cars. This uses a lot of fuel and, in turn, generates the proportionate emissions. By installing ZTR Control Systems’ SmartStart system, the engine is monitored to determine if an idling locomotive can be shut down.

ZTR Control Systems, with offices in the United States and Canada, designs and manufactures monitoring and control systems for railway, power and industrial applications worldwide. The SmartStart system monitors outside ambient temperature, engine coolant temperature, battery charging rate, battery voltage, brake cylinder pressure, reverser position, throttle position, position of the autostart enable switch and
the amount of time the throttle is in idle. If a locomotive is idle for 15 minutes and all conditions are acceptable, then the locomotive will shut down. If monitored conditions change, such as the engine water temperature, the engine starts back up and recycles.
Based on the results of these five SmartStart systems, KCS said it plans to install the units on additional switching locomotives.

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