Progress Rail and Norfolk Southern Collaborate on Tier 4 Locomotive

September 30, 2021

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. & ATLANTA, Ga. – Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) have collaborated on the first EMD® GP34ECO locomotive built for yard and intermediate operations. The locomotive is currently undergoing testing to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emissions certification requirements – the highest emission standard for locomotives. Compared to older locomotives, the GP34ECO achieves a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and offers significantly higher fuel efficiency.

The locomotive is powered by a 3,000 horsepower 12-710 EMD® engine and utilizes the first diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) / selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system intended for line haul locomotive applications.

Norfolk Southern assembled the locomotive core in Altoona, Pa., at the company’s Juniata Locomotive Shop. Together, with Progress Rail and Caterpillar engineering teams, they performed final assembly, engine, and SCR aftertreatment system work. In addition to the Cat® aftertreatment control system, the locomotive includes a new crashworthy cab and electronics.

“We have a strong history of modernizing our locomotive fleet – strengthening our daily operations while furthering our sustainability goals,” commented Norfolk Southern Vice President of Advanced Train Control Tom Schnautz. “In recent years, we have collaborated with Progress Rail to upgrade more than 100 locomotives that power our road and terminal operations. This new locomotive is another step forward in our modernization journey, and we look forward to achieving Tier 4 emissions certification.”

Since 2008, Norfolk Southern and Progress Rail have repowered 50 locomotives specifically for the ECO line. New and improved EMD® ECO locomotives offer lower emissions, fuel savings, and operating efficiencies. Each of these units can replace two older, less-efficient locomotives.

“The GP34ECO locomotive design was based on incorporating a Tier 4 system intended to fit our GP and SD locomotive platforms,” said Progress Rail Vice President of North America Rolling Stock Sales Ahmed Moustehy. “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plan to work with our customers to identify opportunities for other ECO programs in the future.”

Norfolk Southern will place the unit into intermediate service in Harrisburg, Pa., later this year and work with Progress Rail to ensure field testing meets final emissions certification requirements.


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About Progress Rail

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, is one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers. Progress Rail delivers advanced EMD® locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signaling, rail welding and Kershaw® Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations. The company also offers advanced rail technologies, including data acquisition and asset protection equipment. Progress Rail’s deep industry expertise, together with the support of Caterpillar, ensures a commitment to quality through innovative solutions for the rail industry. Progress Rail has a network of nearly 200 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia, China, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit and follow @Progress_Rail on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, moving the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Norfolk Southern connects customers to markets and communities to economic opportunity, with safe, reliable, and cost-effective shipping solutions. The company’s service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and a majority of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.


Progress Rail Contact:

Amy Everett, Communications Director



Norfolk Southern Contact:

Media Relations, 404-420-4444