Rail operator and locomotive servicing business, Norfolk Southern, has launched a $53m energy conversion project at its Juniata Locomotive Shop that will substantially reduce carbon emissions and water usage at the 70-acre facility.
Norfolk Southern will replace the shop’s coal boilers with natural gas heaters and install a 1.2-megawatt capacity combined heat and power generator that will produce enough electricity to sustain the entire 16-building complex.
When completed in late 2017, Norfolk Southern expects the improvements to save about $4m in electricity costs, reduce water usage by 49.4 million gallons from steam-water recovery, and eliminate more than 29,000 tons of carbon emissions in Pennsylvania on an annual basis.
The project goes beyond equipment changes to include adding insulation, energy-efficient windows at key locations, high-speed roll-up doors on locomotive bays, and replacing roofing to ensure the full sustainability benefits of the investment are realized.
The project follows a comprehensive review of work demands and energy consumption at Juniata, the largest locomotive repair shop in North America and headquarters for Norfolk Southern’s locomotive rebuild program. The facility has about 1,050 employees who specialize in heavy repairs and engine overhauls.
“This project showcases Norfolk Southern’s commitment to sustainability and innovation,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “The Juniata Locomotive Shop has a 125-year legacy of leading the rail industry in locomotive technology, and with our energy conversion project, this shop and its employees will remain an industry frontrunner in the 21st century.”
“I applaud Norfolk Southern’s commitment to innovation and growth for the rail industry in Blair County and across the country,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The Juniata Locomotive Shop has been operating for over 100 years in Central Pennsylvania, and this latest investment helps solidify its continued role in growing this nation through our railroads.”
State Sen. Jon Eichelberger; state Rep. John McGinnis; Jim Frank, district director for Congressman Bill Shuster; and Blair Wimbush, NS vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, also participated in the project launch.
“The Juniata Locomotive Shop has provided good-paying job opportunities for the citizens of Blair County and surrounding counties for generations,” said Dennis Davin, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. “This significant investment by Norfolk Southern in energy efficiency will help ensure that this facility remains competitive.”
“This is an important announcement by Norfolk Southern in many respects,” said state Sen. John Eichelberger. “They are again demonstrating their long-term commitment to the Juniata shops, which is a vital part of our region’s economy, and by converting to cleaner-burning natural gas, they are helping our Commonwealth’s burgeoning drilling industry.”