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February 05, 2019   |   Deseret News


Freight switcher demonstration project may move forward, resulting in cleaner air

 An effort by a Layton lawmaker to establish a demonstration project to upgrade a few of the dirtiest diesel railroad freight switchers gained preliminary approval Tuesday after a unanimous committee vote.

The House Natural Resources, Agricultural and Environmental Committee unanimously gave a thumbs up to HB98, sponsored by Rep. Steve Handy, R-Utah.

Handy's bill carries a one-time general fund appropriation of $2.1 million, covering 35 percent of the costs to upgrade or improve three of the six dirtiest diesel freight switchers, which move railroad cars around. Six of the those freight switchers are "Tier Zero" and are model years in a range from 1973 to 2001.

Nathan Anderson with Union Pacific said the change out involves repowering the internal mechanisms of old freight switchers with new equipment, but with an old shell.

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