Florida's Port Manatee said Thursday it has deployed to low-emission diesel-electric locomotives on the short-line railroad that links the Gulf port to the CSX Transportation mainline.
The switcher engines, built by National Railway Equipment Co. of Mt. Vernon, Ill., were delivered earlier this year. They are expected to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide and particulate matter by as much as 90 percent, as well as cut fuel costs by about 60 percent, compared to the 1958 single switcher engines they replace.
The locomotives were purchased with the help of a $2.5-million federal TIGER grant. The Florida Department of Transportation and Port Manatee each contributed about $264,000 apiece.
The port's short line, Port Manatee Railroad, connects directly to the CSX mainline less than a mile from the port's north gate. The short line includes seven miles of track and 19 switches, and has capacity to handle more than 300 rail cars.
Port Manatee is located near the entrance to Tampa Bay and primarily serves bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo, as well as some container customers.