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Chicago Agency To Fund Conversion Of Locomotives

Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. (IHB) has obtained a $34.25 million grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to convert 31 locomotives to operate on natural gas. IHB is the largest switch carrier in the U.S. with 54 miles of mainline track and 266 miles of additional yard and siding track. The grant covers the conversion of locomotive engines from diesel to CNG, as well as the cost of supporting activities. Project planning is under way and no vendors have yet been selected release. The railroad expects to release a request for proposals in early 2014. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency sponsored IHB’s effort to obtain CMAP funds. The grant was made possible by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality fund and required a “substantial contribution” from the railroad, IHB officials said.