Cummins’ Locomotive Demonstrates It’s Great For Freight

The Cummins locomotive recorded improvements in fuel economy and emissions compared to its predecessor.
The Cummins locomotive recorded improvements in fuel economy and emissions compared to its predecessor.

The distinctive red and black locomotive powered by a Cummins’ QSK95 engine put up some impressive numbers over its first year of operation on the Indiana Rail Road, beyond just the weight it pulled.

The Cummins locomotive recorded a 16 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the engine it replaced, an 89 percent reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and a 98 percent cut in particulate matter (PM).

What some call the company’s “mobile locomotive testing lab,” also demonstrated over 12 months that it has plenty of muscle, too.

“It pulls better than anything else we have here in terms of an engine 4,300 to 4,400 (horsepower),” said Bob Babcock, Senior Vice President of Operations and Business Development for the Indiana Rail Road.

“When you want to throttle up on the engine, it gets rolling in a hurry,” he added.

The locomotive, which is owned by Cummins, completed its first full year of operation in March 2017, logging about 3,800 hours as it pulled coal and mixed freight over the Indiana Rail Road’s 500 miles of track south and southwest of Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A).

The 95-liter, 16-cylinder engine is one of the most powerful high-speed diesels to be installed in a locomotive. Cummins purchased and re-powered a 40-year-old locomotive to demonstrate that the QSK95 could pull freight efficiently.

The engine is already proving popular with passenger rail systems, powering Siemens’ new low-emission, diesel-electric Charger locomotive. The Charger locomotive will be delivered to passenger rail systems across the United States beginning in 2017. The QSK95 was the first single, prime-power engine certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to meet its Tier 4 standards.

The system used in the Cummins’ freight locomotive also meets Tier 4 certification, replacing a larger, medium speed diesel engine without the aftertreatment equipment to meet Tier 4.

One of the first things the Cummins’ locomotive demonstrated is that a QSK95 with Cummins’ SCR exhaust aftertreatment could comfortably fit in an older locomotive. The SCR system removes NOx emissions while the engine combustion removes PM, two critical air pollutants.

Over the past year, the Cummins locomotive has gone through extensive study by company engineers, enabling such things as development of the best combustion formula to optimize fuel efficiency. Melina Kennedy, Executive Director of Rail & Defense for Cummins Engine Business, said the past year has demonstrated how well the SCR system works in a freight configuration.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount over the past year,” Kennedy said. “We’re really grateful for the relationship we’ve had with Indiana Rail Road and our other partners.”

Outside the United States, the trend toward replacing older medium-speed diesel engines with cleaner, more efficient high-speed diesels is well established. Inside the U.S., however, most freight trains are still powered by medium diesel engines.

“There’s not just an advantage from an environmental perspective to high-speed diesel,” Kennedy said. “We’ve seen a significant decrease in the cost of ownership due to the increase in fuel efficiency.”

Indiana Rail Road’s Babcock says the engine has been an all-around performer for his company.

“We’re able to use this engine on multiple types of service, from fast unit trains of inter-modal to hard pulling, big coal trains, to merchandise trains to local switching,” he said. “We think we have been the right fit to really run this engine through its paces."

The see the Cummins QSK95-powered locomotive in action, check out the video below.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]


Dropping the sails and powering up with Cummins

MV Brigadoon

Cummins engine receives a major overhaul after boat owner commits to a power vessel after years spent sailing the Pacific Northwest.

A couple from Seattle, Washington (USA) spent the first half of 2020 refitting their new Hampton 490 Pilothouse power boat. Chris Jones grew up around marinas and has owned a variety of boats throughout his life. Most recently, he and his wife have been cruising around the Puget Sound in their Hunter 46 sailboat. But with the turn of the new year, they decided to trade in the slow and steady lifestyle of sailing for a new power boat – the M/V Brigadoon.

After identifying they were ready to make the switch back to faster speeds, Chris and his wife began narrowing down what kind of vessel they were looking for. After weeks of extensive research, they found two Hampton boats available that met their requirements for quality, systems and seaworthiness.

Jones ventured down to California to look at one of the options, and at first glance thought the vessel had too much work to be done. But as the couple explored other boats, even comparing her to the alternative Hampton in the area, they found the M/V Brigadoon had the most potential.

But it would not be without major rework. The vessel needed a massive overhaul for the engine, control systems, and cosmetics. The 20-year-old boat only had 800 hours on it, which is quite low for an engine of that age. After years of sitting idle, it needed some tender love and care.

MV Brigadoon - Cummins

With an eye for improvement, Jones left his new acquisition in the hands of Marine Diesel Services in Newport Beach, California. The significant overhaul of his Cummins 6CTA 8.3 series engine included replacing aftercoolers, turbo chargers, hose clamps, seals, etc. Chris said, “They really did fantastic work on the boat. I have a lot of confidence in the power plant and that it has been adequately serviced.”

Once the mechanical work was complete, the M/V Brigadoon was ready to be delivered to the Pacific Northwest. At Emerald Harbor Marine, she received electrical work and new alternators, wiring, and navigation system. Finishing touches included more minor maintenance and a fresh paint job.

MV Brigadoon - Cummins

Six months have passed since the Jones’ heralded the M/V Brigadoon as their own. In mid-July, they put their new baby into the water for their first cruise since stepping off their sailboat last year. Looking forward to the speed and freedom of a power boat once again, they intend to vacation in the San Juan islands during their shakedown cruise and find new ports to explore.

For more photos and information about the M/V Brigadoon refit or to follow her journey, check out Chris Jones’ Instagram.

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

How technology can help customers save over $30 million in fuel and avoid enough pollutants to fill a 15-mile long train

Think of a train loaded with 40 foot containers as long as the distance between your home and work (about 15 miles). This is what it would take to load all the pollutants avoided, thanks to the state-of-the-art technology used in Cummins Tier 4 high horsepower engines.

Cummins Tier 4 high horsepower engines have recently exceeded 10 million operating hours. These engines feature state-of-the-art technology significantly reducing the emission of environmentally harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). You can see these engines featuring the latest emissions technology in operation in many applications ranging from railroad locomotives and marine vessels, to mining and oil and gas equipment.  

Let’s cover two reasons why Cummins’ Tier 4 technology is increasingly popular across many industries.

Reduced fuel usage means over $30 million of financial gains for customers and over 300,000 barrels of fuel savings for our planet

Owners of Cummins Tier 4 high horsepower engines are enjoying lower operating costs, since the fuel efficiency of these engines improved by up to 5% over Tier 2 engines, depending on the equipment duty cycle.

With 10 million running hours so far, we estimate our customers using Cummins Tier 4 high horsepower engines have experienced over $30M  of financial gains in the form of reduced fuel costs. This also translates into over 300,000 barrels of fuel savings for our planet.

Reduced environmental footprint is equal to removing the pollutants produced by over a half million cars

The technology Cummins uses in its Tier 4 engines significantly reduces PM and NOx emissions compared to earlier Tier 2 applications. PM contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are harmful to human health. A Tier 4 high horsepower engine with Cummins technology reduces PM emissions by 80% over a Tier 2 counterpart. NOx is most commonly known as the cause of smog, the brown sky often seen in large cities, and it also causes acid rains. A Cummins Tier 4 high horsepower engine emits 45% less NOx than a Tier 2 counterpart. 

Tier 4 technology delivers significant reductions in emission of harmful pollutants
Tier 4 technology delivers significant reductions in emission of harmful pollutants

These reductions in the environmental footprint add up quickly; 10 million operating hours across these Cummins engines translates into over 50,000 tons of PM and NOx avoided. Just the reduction in NOx emission is equivalent to taking more than 600,000 cars out of traffic for a year.

“Our mission at Cummins is to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world, and this comes in many forms. In this case, our technology is helping our customers reduce their environmental footprint and decrease their operational costs while they enjoy excellent productivity,” said Gary Johansen, Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering at Cummins Inc.

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Machine of the Month: Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Worldwide, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily. On average it takes around 70 beans to brew each cup. Each bean starts its life as a coffee cherry that must go through a process which includes harvesting, processing, drying, milling, tasting, exporting, roasting, and grinding to become what you would recognize as coffee.   

From hand picking to mechanical measures, there are several ways to harvest the cherries that contain coffee beans. For almost two decades, Oxbo has been a leader in producing high quality coffee harvesters that mechanically pick the cherries. The next generation of these harvesters is the Oxbo 9240.  

Oxbo 9240 Coffee Harvester

Designed to harvest in rugged terrain, the Oxbo 9240 has a wide wheel base and 3-wheel design to improve maneuverability. The machine is manufactured for the South American market and features a low mounted Cummins QSF2.8 Tier 3 engine rated at 72 horsepower (hp). The engine position helps the harvester maintain a lower center of gravity for greater stability. 

To harvest the cherries, a picking head uses a horizontal shaking action to remove the cherries while a high-density, low-loss catcher gently surrounds the tree to provide greater retention. Once the coffee cherries have been picked, the 9240 has both a cleaning system that effectively removes leaves and small sticks. 

Who knows, the next coffee you drink might have been picked with Cummins power! 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Harbor Harvest: Sustainability and small business on The Sound

Harbor Harvest

A retail center, a transport company, a boat builder and an engine manufacturer walk into a bar... Oh, wait. That was supposed to say they start shipping locally sourced produce across the Long Island Sound using a one-of-a-kind sustainable hybrid vessel to provide  environmentally friendly access to goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet Harbor Harvest: Connecticut’s innovative solution bringing the farm to the harbor, and then to your table. 

Bob Kunkel has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut for 27 years. A man with a unique background who loved spending time on the water, but also in the kitchen. This duo of passions led him to marry a food market dedicated to selling quality foods and a Marine Highway program on the northeast coast. 

Harbor Harvest HybridFirst, what is this hybrid vessel? Kunkel is the President of Alternative Marine Technologies, which specializes in projects outside of normal propulsion history or ship design. Upon connecting with BAE Systems (an advanced technology company), the two organizations thought to convert BAE’s electric vehicle bus system into a marine project. After working with an initial engine manufacturer, Kunkel and BAE found Cummins Inc.’s fully integrated marine system to be the final piece of their million-dollar idea. Using two QSB6.7 hybrid-ready engines and a display package to monitor the engines, hybrid components and energy storage system, the diesel-electric catamaran was born. 

The hybrid carries approximately 28 pallets of locally sourced goods, 10 of which are positioned in a fully refrigerated and protected walk-in space. The ship acts as a transport channel for family farms and agriculture systems bringing their sustainable goods to the big city. Kunkel mentioned that a local farm’s market generally only achieves a 10-mile radius. With Harbor Harvest, the marine highway allows them to extend their reach without increasing their costs. 

From a sustainability standpoint, the benefits are clear. A trip that Harbor Harvest can complete from Norwalk, Connecticut to Huntington, New York in about an hour takes their trucking counterparts anywhere from 6-12 hours to accomplish. But emissions on the highway aren’t the only thing Harbor Harvest is saving; they’re also improving efficiency of local farmers. Family farms aren’t having to dump their milk or discard their produce because they can’t make it to market. Harbor Harvest is providing their food a reliable and profitable route to people’s tables. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwalk-based organization has thrived. While the boat has only been running one or two days a week due to decreased demand from restaurants and retail, they have certainly not run out of essential items.

Harbor Harvest 1st Location

"Large meat processing plants were having issues with closures," Kunkel said. "We’re direct to the farms and custom slaughterhouse, so we didn’t have any problems supplying meat, fish and other products." He followed that local vendors could respond better to the local emergency, saying this accentuated "what 'buy local' and 'support local' really means.”

Harbor Harvest is a perfect storm of sustainability, small business and innovation. Improving the relationship between the farmer, the harbor and the customer is no small task, yet Kunkel and his corporate partners seem to have concocted a flawless operation. Harbor Harvest looks toward the future, hoping they will continue to expand their business with additional hybrid vessels.

With a casual tone but the most serious of intentions, Kunkel concluded, "I think we’re pretty close to changing the world." 

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

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