A fleet of diesel shunter locomotives is to be built by a Canadian factory to demonstrate how new technology can cut emissions.

Experts trying to combat global warming already recognise rail as highly efficient in moving large numbers of passengers and freight tonnages without the pollution associated with road transport.

But now RailPower Technology Inc of Vancouver has been granted £1million of government money to design nine hybrid locomotives which will be built by ALSTOM and CANAC, using the latest sustainable development technology.

The aim is to show how innovative technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

RailPower President and CEO, Jim Maier said: "We are starting the immediate build of five Green Goats for our proposed 10-locomotive demonstration fleet programme.

"This fleet will represent the entire spectrum of capability that our Green Goat and Green Kid hybrid switchers have in major railway yards, short lines and industrial yards.

"Operators are looking to maximize productivity while keeping their capital costs and overheads to a minimum.

"We are experiencing strong interest in our hybrid shunting locomotives from across the rail industry.

"A number of these potential customers require an initial demonstration in their particular switching environment before committing to a purchase or long term lease. We believe that this demonstration fleet will accelerate our commercialization and the receipt of additional orders for our locomotives," concluded Maier.

Rick Whittaker, Vice President, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, said: "RailPower has developed an ultra energy efficient switcher locomotive.

"Most railway switcher locomotives incorporate standard diesel-electric configurations which, because they are not built for the very demanding stop-go environment of the railway switching yard, tend to operate inefficiently and emit large amounts of particulates.

"We, therefore, are looking forward to working with RailPower to help Canada reduce its emissions impact on global warming and clean air.

"We commend RailPower on its commitment to sustainable development in Canada."

Information from www.railpower.com

For further information:

Nigel Horsley, Media Relations, RailPower Technologies Corp., (604) 904-0085 ext. 215.
Simon Clarke, Executive Vice President, RailPower Technologies Corp., (604) 904-0085 ext 206.
Jay Hussey, Investor Relations, The Equicom Group Inc., (416) 815-0700 ext. 225.
Greg Graham, Vice President, SDTC, (613) 234-6313 ext. 222