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Sustainable Rail Project 130 Plans to Convert This 1937 Baldwin into a Carbon Neutral Speedster

ON MAY 22, 2012, THE COALITION FOR SUSTAINABLE RAIL (CSR), a collaboration between the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and the nonprofit organization Sustainable Rail Interna- tional of Minneapolis, announced Project 130, a plan to create the world’s first carbon-neutral higher-speed locomotive, which will be rebuilt from former Santa Fe 4-6-4 No. 3463 (left), an oil burner built by Baldwin in

1937 with 84″ driving wheels. Project 130’s goal is to create the world’s cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive and demonstrate the viabili- ty of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology. Upon the loco- motive’s completion, the Coalition will use it in an attempt to break the world steam locomotive speed record of 126 m.p.h. set by Britain’s London & North Eastern Railway 4-6-2 Mallard in 1926, by attaining 130 m.p.h. Don’t think that this is a preservation project. The locomotive, which was acquired in November 2011 from the Great Overland Station museum and education center in Topeka, Kan., is unlikely to appear much as it does today after it’s been modified with lightweight rods, roller bearings, and a new boiler, along with a steam-powered head end power package for pas- senger car lighting and heating. No. 3463 will be converted to burn “tor- refied biomass,” commonly known as biocoal, a fuel that’s created by baking cellulosic biomass, such as wood, at high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment. Biocoal has the same energy density and handling properties as naturally-occurring coal, but proponents say it contains no heavy metals and produces less ash and smoke while releasing less volatile exhaust gas than coal does. CSR says that biocoal costs 75 per cent less than an equiva- lent amount of diesel fuel and its production and use is carbon neutral. No. 3463 will remain in Topeka until CSR locates a suitable facility in the Twin Cities area which can support the project. — WALT LANKENAU

tirement offset a 15 per cent revenue increase over the previous year. In other words, as a whole, the company’s operations are prof- itable. Some observers believe a RailAmerica sale might be an effort to raise cash for the proposed Florida East Coast “All Aboard Flori- da” high speed rail project. RailAmerica owns 45 short line and regional railroads in the U.S. and Canada, which are or- ganized into five regions. They include New England Central, Goderich-Exeter, Central Oregon & Pacific, North Carolina & Virginia, Missouri & Northern Arkansas, and Otter Tail Valley. In addition, the affiliated American

Rail Dispatching Center provides contract train dispatching services from the former Cen- tral Vermont office building in St. Albans, Vt.

’45 “FLARES” ARE ON THE WAY: A May 2012 Surface Transportation Board recorda- tion reveals that 21 leased SD40M-2s are com- ing to four RailAmerica properties. The units are SD40s and SD45s that were rebuilt by Mor- rison Knudsen for the Southern Pacific in the mid-1990s; all have been upgraded with Dash 2 electrical systems and the ’45s have had their 20-cylinder 3600-h.p. engines replaced with 16-cylinder 3000-h.p. prime movers. Most still

wear SP speed lettering paint with patched numbers, while some are in full Union Pacific paint. Three units will go to the Alabama & Gulf Coast, 11 to Missouri & Northern Arkan- sas, two to Huron & Eastern, and five to New England Central. Last year RA scrapped more than 70 units from all over the system, most of which were derelict.

R.J. Corman

TO BUILD PENNSYLVANIA BRANCH: R.J. Corman Pennsylvania Lines has received permission from the Surface Transportation Board to build a 20-mile branch between Wal- laceton Junction, on the Clearfield-Moshannon line, and Gorton, Penn., to serve a new waste- to-ethanol facility and other customers. The eastern end is part of the ex-Conrail (nee-New York Central) Snow Shoe Industrial Track be- tween Gorton and Winburne, abandoned and railbanked in 1990 and now owned by Norfolk Southern. Corman will purchase this segment and rehabilitate the track and bridges. This portion of the route is part of the Snow Shoe Rails to Trails recreational trail, which runs between Winburne and Clarence. The Wallace- ton to Winburne segment will be rebuilt with new track on the old subgrade. The STB said, “This is the first instance in which the Board examined a new rail line construction proposal combined with restoration of rail service over a railbanked right of way.” The waste-to-ethanol facility will be located

New Power for New Hampshire Short Line

NEW ENGLAND SOUTHERN has taken delivery of this SW1500 from Metro-East Industries of East St. Louis, Ill. No. 2555 unit was built in 1970 as Southern Pacific No. 2555 and was renum- bered Union Pacific 1002 in 1996. It replaces GP39-2 No. 2370 (ex-Missouri-Kansas-Texas No. 371) which also wore UP colors and was wrecked in February 2011. No. 2370 was repaired and sold to Michigan’s Ann Arbor Railroad in late 2011.


near Gorton and operated by Resource Recov- ery LLC, which also plans to locate a quarry and industrial park there. The Resource Re- covery plant will receive inbound municipal waste and ship outbound ethanol to East Coast refineries. Other potential customers have also expressed interest in shipping by rail. Corman expects to serve the line at least



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