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Cummins is ramping up a test of its new 4,200-horsepower, low-emissions QSK95 diesel engine in a locomotive that will haul freight across the state on track owned by the Indiana Rail Road Co.
The Columbus-based engine maker made the announcement Monday at the Railway Interchange Show in Indianapolis.
The locomotive will begin commercial service by mid-2014 with the Indiana Rail Road Co., an independent rail line that controls 500 miles of track in Indiana, Cummins said.
Cummins will own and operate the locomotive but will lease it for test purposes to the rail line, said rail line spokesman Eric Powell.
Cummins’ huge diesel engine is billed as ideally suited to haul heavy loads, including being used to power passenger and freight locomotives, the company said. It also is among the first engines powering a locomotive ready to meet EPA Tier 4 ultra-low emissions regulations taking effect in 2015.
Cummins has acquired a used locomotive and is currently refurbishing it. Once it is outfitted with the QSK95, it will be used to haul coal or mixed freight across the Indiana Rail Road company’s network. The engine also has potential uses in marine vessels and in certain offshore drilling operations.
Powell said the 500 miles of track controlled by the IRR gives Cummins a varied geographic landscape over which it can put the huge diesel engine through its paces. Some of the toughest climbs will be on coal trains hauling freight from southwest Indiana toward Indianapolis where there are sustained hills for three or four miles at a stretch.
“We will put it to the test,” Powell said. “The Indiana Rail Road moves a lot of containerized goods, grain, coal and a variety of other products. And we have some pretty (steep) grades and a pretty demanding environment. We’re very excited to be part of this with Cummins.”
Cummins committed major resources to developing the high-powered QSK95 diesel. The engine, built at Cummins’ Seymour Engine Plant, involved design work by more than 150 engineers to establish a new production line and test facilities at the plant.
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