California short-line railroad going 'green' with new engines

Modesto BeeApril 12, 2010 

The Modesto & Empire Traction Co. is being called the "greenest" short-line railroad in North America because it has replaced all its old locomotives with energy-efficient engines that spew far less toxins into the air.

The century-old, locally owned railroad is completing the purchase of five new "ultra clean" locomotives, funded largely by a $6.7 million state grant. Until those new U.S.-made locomotives arrive next year, the M&ET is leasing five low-polluting engines, which went into service this winter.

"We retired all of our old stinkers made in the 1940s and 1950s," said Joe Mackil, the M&ET's president and chief executive officer. "The old ones just belched the junk out. These new things are very clean."

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