It was a weird twist, but make no mistake about Harrison’s overall approach on the job: It is all about productivity. The California Northern Railroad Company is located about 30 minutes outside of Sacramento, Calif. Tomatoes are king here, and the California Northern Railroad Company, which is owned by Genesee & Wyoming, serves many customers which specialize in the production of tomato paste. They are part of a 20-mile track run between Woodland, Calif., and Davis, Calif—a trip that the California Northern Railroad Company takes daily.
“[The shift] probably runs about eight hours,” Harrison said. “It starts in Woodland and then we run about 20 miles down the track to Davis, pick up a 30-, 40-, 50-car train and bring it back to Woodland to service customers.”
Ask Harrison about what locomotive now services the California Northern Railroad Company and you will not be able to get a word in. He and the rest of his crew have been excited about a new U.S. EPA Tier 4 Near Zero Emissions locomotive, which also is verified by CARB. These particular locomotives, manufactured by the Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW), were delivered to the short-line railroad company back in July 2019 and were immediately put to work. The two 2,400-horsepower diesel locomotives use selective catalytic reduction technology to meet the most stringent emissions requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency and verification by the Air Resources Board of California. Their high-efficiency, 12-cylinder MTU engines are expected to provide fuel savings of 25% and reduce diesel emissions—carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen—by 93% compared to the two circa-1976 locomotives being replaced.