High-speed catamaran receives funding for new Cummins engines as part of the VW Settlement

The Cecelia Ann offers sightseers views of some of New England’s most iconic lighthouses. Soon this high-speed catamaran, which can carry 600 passengers and reach speeds of 30 knots, will be repowered to improve its emissions profile, improving air quality in New London, Connecticut and Orient Point, New York, its two primary ports.  

In the marine industry, commercial boats can be in service for many decades and are repowered several times throughout their lives. Replacing an older vessel’s engines with newer technology can significantly reduce emissions, including nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. NOx emissions react with VOCs and sunlight, causing ground-level ozone also known as smog. 

Cecelia Ann

The Block Island Express operates several ferries and sight-seeing boats in Long Island Sound, and it had a good experience partnering with Cummins on another repower project prior to Cecelia Ann. Once her repower is complete, the Cecelia Ann will be powered by four QSK38 Tier 3 engines, each at 1,300 horsepower. 

Block Island Express was able to apply for funding administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in Connecticut, as part of the VW Settlement Agreement. In 2015, the EPA discovered Volkswagen had been selling diesel vehicles that were emitting NOx pollutants up to 40 times above what is legally permitted. This resulted in a settlement that required VW to pay $3B towards a trust fund for environmental mitigation and clean-emissions infrastructure.

Today, each of the 50 U.S. states has a program in place like Connecticut’s to use the funding to mitigate NOx, and Cummins’ Sales and Service team is equipped to help customers pursue these opportunities. The Cecelia Ann is one of many examples of how Cummins is helping our customers and our communities minimize their environmental impact. 

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.

Appreciate everything that truck drivers do

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
The following letter was authored by Amy R. Boerger, Vice President of Sales – Engine Segment, Cummins Inc.; and Shorty Whittington, founder of Grammer Industries, former Chairman of the American Trucking Association and executive committee members of the Board of Indiana Motor Truck Association

Sept. 8-14 is designated as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. This is a time for the nation to make a rest stop and honor the more than 3.5 million professional men and women who drive across the country to ensure our gods are delivered safely, securely and on time. The trucking industry supports nearly 8 million jobs across the country, while contributing more than $700 billion in revenue annually. 

On behalf of Cummins Inc., the global leader in power technology solutions, and Grammer Industries, a leading fleet and innovator in the trucking industry, we thank truck drivers for their commitment ot one of the most demanding and important jobs to our U.S. economy. We are joining companies like ours to make every effort to appreciate and recognize truck drivers each day, not just this week. We’re doing this by continuing to make technological and safety advancements, creating better work environments (including work-life balance) and providing drivers with the tools to help them perform their jobs more safely, effectively, efficiently, comfortably and successfully. 

We need more drivers to help businesses like ours succeed and move the economy forward. According to the American Trucking Associations, there is a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers, and that number is expected to reach 175,000 by 2024. Cummins recognizes the importance of this issue, which is why we have been working with the AT and other groups to address the driver shortage. 

Truck Driver Appreciation Week - Cummins Inc.

For the U.S., a truck drivers shortage could negatively impact consumers from higher costs associate with product delivery, to longer delays in receiving products to your home, local grocery or pharmacy. 

We can all help by highlighting the innovations in today’s trucks in in the truck driving profession. From the tires to the engine, and from the chairs to the sleepers, today’s trucks are state-of-the-art vehicles meeting stringent emissions and fuel economy standards, while still providing an enjoyable experience for drivers. In fact, many heavy-duty trucks now offer automatic transmissions. Many people think of a truck driver as a person who is on the road for weeks at a time and for long hours each day. However, times have changed, and we’re doing everything we can to provide drivers the quality of life we all want. 

We’re also employing new technologies like our Connected Solutions to help truck drivers. Cummins Connected Solutions makes real-time updates to engine calibrations or tunes the engine to meet operating conditions whenever and wherever. Today’s society is connected, and we’re our drivers stay connected, too. 

We all count on drivers to get our supplies. In fact, over 80 percent of the nation’s communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. The word needs to be out; this is a rewarding career that pays well, can provide a strong work-life balance and make our economy and communities stronger. 

On behalf of Cummins and Grammer industries, we thank all drivers for the work they do each day and their immeasurable contributions to our lives and the economy. 

This letter originally appeared in The Columbus Republic.

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.

SCR versus EGR: What's the right choice for the rail industry?

Today, there are two core technologies to reduce emissions within the rail industry: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). But how do you know which is the right technology for your customers?

A quick internet search for “SCR vs. EGR” will return more than two million results from various sources, but what does it all mean? For decades, people have been debating the merits of each technology, arguing over which is better. We’d argue, however, that the question you should be asking is this: Which technology is right for your customers?

In this article, we’ll provide a clear and practical explanation for SCR and EGR technology in the rail industry.

First, a little background on the SCR vs. EGR technology debate.

EGR or SCR for the rail industry
A mix of technologies - from electronics and controls to aftertreatment sytems - are used in the race towards near-zero NOx engine emissions. 

Emission regulations for engines used in heavy-duty applications - from on-road vehicles to locomotives - started in the 1990s and became more stringent in the 2000s. Locomotive manufacturers were able to meet these emission regulations without the use of exhaust gas aftertreatment technologies in most applications. On the other hand, heavy-duty on-road engine manufacturers had to meet more stringent regulations compared to railway locomotives. 

In the 2010s, as emission regulations got more stringent, several heavy-duty on-road engine manufacturers needed to use a combination of SCR and EGR technologies to achieve the required emission levels. For the rail industry, where most applications require the use of larger engines, several engine manufacturers had to choose between SCR or EGR to meet the new emission regulations. This was the beginning of the debate between SCR and EGR technologies. 

A Better Question: What is the right emission reduction technology for your customers? 

From rail operators to locomotive manufacturers, rail industry players have needs unique to their business models and markets served. Instead of making the technology choice the starting point, we have outlined three use cases and the right aftertreatment technology.   

When running hours and fuel consumption makes the engine efficiency an important parameter

Challenge: As regulations require pollutant emissions deceased, engine manufacturers could adjust engine parameters to partially lower the emission of pollutants.

Combustion temperature is one of these parameters, however, a lower combustion temperature reduces NOx emission yet increases fuel consumption. For rail operators focusing on improving fleet utilization, increased fuel consumption could negatively impact their financials and worsen their environmental impact. 

Opportunity: Rail operators can optimize engine combustion for higher fuel efficiency and choose to reduce NOx separately through SCR, since SCR is a solution external to the engine. Given the high proportion of fuel costs in rail operators’ overall running costs, rail operators would likely offset the additional cost of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) over time through the fuel consumption savings.

When reliability matters, and you want to build upon an already reliable engine

Challenge: Engine manufacturers have the option to introduce varying levels of engine design changes to meet the more stringent emission regulations. For locomotive manufacturers, any extensive change in engine design raises the question of engine reliability. This concern is further amplified for engines, such as the Cummins QSK50 and QSK60, which have proven their reliability over many applications and millions of hours of usage.

Opportunity: Locomotive manufacturers could lower the risk of adversely impacting engine reliability by choosing engines that didn’t go through significant architectural design changes and new part introductions from an engineering perspective. SCR technology helps the engine meet emission regulations with limited architectural design changes in an engine’s combustion chamber.   

When a high degree of commonality helps you create a financial edge through operational savings

Challenge: As emission regulations vary across regions, locomotive manufacturers and rail operators face a dual challenge: offering products that are fit for local needs, while increasing their financial performance. 

Opportunity: Use of SCR technology would likely allow locomotive manufacturers to have higher commonality across variations within a given engine platform. This offers financial and operational benefits. For instance, rail operators managing a fleet with higher engine commonality will benefit from common service methodologies while managing fewer parts. 

“We expect the locomotive manufacturers and rail operators using engines with SCR technology today to be better positioned in the near future when the emission regulations get more stringent. Today’s SCR technology is well suited to meet future emission regulations with less interventions, positioning users of SCR technology a step ahead of users with other emissions technologies,” says Miranda Cross, Global Rail Account Manager of Cummins Power Systems.

Bottom line, it is important to evaluate your customers’ key needs and use cases before making the technology decisions. For customers with the above three use cases, SCR offers a combination of financial and environmental benefits, including greenhouse gas reduction, while also helping locomotive manufacturers and rail operators meet unique local needs.   

To learn more about trends and technologies in rail industry follow Cummins  on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about rail power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage. 

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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: Dot Power Platform

Cummins reliability and efficiency proves an ideal choice for the latest innovative autonomous agriculture, the Dot Power Platform.  


Autonomous operation combined with diesel-power and a U-shaped design allow Dot to carry, rather than tow, a multitude of implements. Norbert Beaujot, President & Owner, Dot Technology tells us more about this unique application:

“Initially I was designing Dot to be a seeding unit.  But when I came up with the idea of an open-U platform that could lift and lower a multitude of different implements; I quickly realized that it could handle almost anything in agriculture, construction and mining, so its possibilities are endless.”

Efficiency and reliability were critical considerations when designing the Dot Power Platform and led Norbert to the 173-hp Cummins B4.5 Tier 4 Final engine. The company aims to reduce fuel consumption on farms by around 20% so it’s paramount that the engine, hydraulics and whole system work efficiently. 

“When I was selecting the engine, it was important to have something very reliable; something that farmers knew and understood and had faith in. Of course, the Cummins name has been around forever, so it was a natural fit.” concludes Norbert.

Learn more about Dot in action here. 

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.

Clean Cruisers are Fun Loving and Carbon Neutral

Steven Ploog (left) and Nathan Stuart (right) are taking their two re-powered classic Land Cruisers for a carbon-neutral spin to Panama. Both vehicles will be powered by R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel crate engines.
Steven Ploog (left) and Nathan Stuart (right) are taking their two re-powered classic Land Cruisers for a carbon-neutral spin to Panama. Both vehicles will be powered by R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel crate engines.

Steven Ploog and Nathan Stuart will depart this week on the road trip of a lifetime, traversing washed out roads, thick jungles and sandy beaches from Stuart’s hometown in California all the way to Panama. 

If that wasn’t enough of an adventure, their Clean Cruiser trip across Central America will be carbon-neutral.

The two men will be driving R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel-powered Land Cruisers, fueled by bio-diesel. They will plant trees as they cross all seven countries in Central America to off-set their carbon impact, learning about local conservation efforts along the way.  The two iconic Land Cruisers were restored specifically for this trip and each will be towing a camping trailer that will be the cruisers’ home for the 60-day adventure. 

“In the true spirit of adventure, we sought to add to the challenge by completing the entire expedition carbon neutral,” Ploog and Stuart explain on for the trip.  “We are turning to biofuels and reforestation efforts to accomplish this mission.”


Ploog and Stuart estimate that by planting roughly 200 trees, they will neutralize the vehicles’ carbon emissions. But they want to have a bigger impact. Their goal is to raise enough money to ultimately plant over 10,000 trees throughout 2019. The Clean Cruiser project is pledging to plant one additional tree for every $10 donated.

The Clean Cruiser team works on one of its vehicles before the big trip.
The Clean Cruiser project is pledging to plant one tree for every $10 it raises.

Ploog will be driving a 1979 BJ 40 acquired in Costa Rica and Stuart will be driving a 1982 BJ 42, originally built in Japan for the Canadian market. The R2.8 Turbo Diesel is Cummins’ first crate engine, providing re-power enthusiasts with modern diesel efficiency and drivability for use in their older, iconic vehicles.

Formerly, re-power enthusiasts wanting Cummins diesel power had to restore an old diesel engine they found in a junkyard or perhaps hidden away in the back of someone’s barn.  Even then, the engine would not be as clean, sociable, or complete as the purpose-built R2.8 Turbo Diesel crate engine package. 

Stuart and Ploog will be using biodiesel, a renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or cooking grease. It has properties like petroleum diesel, so it can be blended with the diesel fuel they obtain along the way.  Cummins engines have been approved for use of B20 biodiesel blends since 2008.

While driving into seven different countries might seem like a daunting task, both men have extensive experience as adventurers.


Stuart, 38, is an avid surfer and videographer, who lived in Mexico for 11 years before moving back to his hometown of Paso Robles, California, where he works as a ranch manager. Ploog, 34, is an Army veteran and accomplished adventurer from Merced, California. In 2017, he back-packed more than 2,000 miles on the

Cummins' R2.8 turbo diesel engine
The R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel crate engine fills a gap for many re-power enthusiasts.

Oregon and Pacific coasts. They are both re-power hobbyists who chose the R2.8 because it was the best engine to achieve their goal of a carbon neutral adventure.

Their trip will start in Stuart’s hometown with their first stop at the Overland Expo, which begins Friday (May 17), in Flagstaff, Arizona. The expo is geared for adventure travel enthusiasts, offering classes and demonstrations in everything from four-wheel drive vehicles to motorcycles and camping gear. After the expo, the adventure truly begins. 

Cummins is a co-sponsor of Ploog’s an Stuart’s trip. Come back for periodic updates on how they are doing as they make their way to Panama. Also follow along @CumminsRepowerOfficial.

“We hope to inspire individuals to get out and enjoy all that our world has to offer,” the two men say. “We want to prove that you can enjoy recreational travel and still be environmentally conscious.”   


Related Content: Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel



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]


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