By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA is upgrading a switching locomotive at Wayne Junction that services its trains, with the help of a $1.2-million EPA grant to reduce diesel air pollution and improve air quality.
The locomotive is one of six in SEPTA’s fleet used for maintenance, repairs, and to rescue stranded trains.
The Environmental Protection Agency is picking up 80 percent of the cost of converting the locomotive to a cleaner type of diesel engine, according to SEPTA’s Richard Maloney.
“It’s like changing your grandfather’s 1950s-era pickup truck to a modern-era big, green, mean muscle machine,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
SEPTA general manager Joe Casey says the retrofit is also cost effective.
“To replace one of these locomotive engines costs almost nine or ten million dollars,” he notes.
“What we’ve been focusing on is ways we can make old diesel engines cleaner, more efficient, and protect the health of our community,” said EPA regional administrator Shawn Garvin, who brought the check.
Officials say repowering the engine will reduce nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions by about 80 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent.