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Port of New Orleans railroad upgrades locomotives

New Orleans Public Belt Railroad brings on eight new engines, which will reduce the operation’s fuel consumption by 25% and emissions by 40%.

Two of the eight new locomotives acquired by the Port of New Orleans switching railroad. (New Orleans Public Belt Railroad)

The Port of New Orleans has completed the acquisition of eight new locomotives for operating within the port complex.

With the arrival of the eight new engines, the port authority’s short-line New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) will reduce its locomotive fleet from 15 to eight. The new locomotives are also expected to reduce fuel consumption by 25% and emissions by 40%.  

NOPB is a Class III switching railroad in the Port of New Orleans that shuttles cargo to and from six Class I freight railroads calling the port.

“With the Port and NOPB now fully aligned, we are able to make strategic investments that provide air quality benefits for the community while providing superior service to our users and Class I partners,” said Brandy D. Christian, CEO of the Port of New Orleans and chief executive of NOPB, in a statement.

The port authority said the locomotives were manufactured by Electro-Motive Diesel.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $7.3 million in funding to NOPB to upgrade switches and expand three regional rail yards to provide capacity for storage and sorting of an additional 500 railcars. Once finished, the enhancements are expected to improve rail-handling efficiency in the port by 30%.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.