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GE Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive

  • GE Transportation’s Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stringent Tier 4 emission standards. The locomotive is powered by GE’s 12-cylinder EVO engine and requires absolutely no after-treatment system.  

    Part of the ecomagination-certified Evolution Series, GE’s new Tier 4 locomotive will decrease emissions by more than 70 percent from Tier 3 technology and can help save railroad customers more than $1.5 billion in urea infrastructure and operational costs. 

    After nearly a decade in development and $600 million invested, we began manufacturing and production on our Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive in 2015. This next generation locomotive borrows tech innovation from across GE's businesses - a benefit unique to GE known as "The GE Store." Experience how access to the “GE Store” made our U.S. EPA Tier 4 compliant locomotive possible here.

    We invested ahead of demand, finishing our product for delivery in 2015. As a result, we received over 1355 Evolution Series Tier 4 locomotive orders for fulfillment over the next three years by the end of 2014.

    Learn all of the Tier 4 testing work we are currently doing by clicking on our  "Testing the GE Evolution Series Tier 4 infographic."


What is the history of the Evolution Series Tier 4?

GE has invested $600 million in the Evolution Series since its introduction in 2005. GE Transportation leveraged resources from other GE businesses and GE’s Global Research Center to develop the new Tier 4 engine technology. In August 2012, GE unveiled the prototype for our next Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive.

Tier 4 locomotives began field testing across the United States in 2013 and have logged over 10,000 miles to date. In September 2014, GE revealed it has received over 1,000 Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive orders.

What is the status of GE’s Evolution Series Tier 4 locomotive?

The initial Tier 4 locomotives will achieve the emission standards in part by using credits GE generated by reducing emissions beyond what was required by the EPA’s Tier 3 standards. In addition, GE began manufacturing and production on locomotives that achieve Tier 4 standards directly in 2015 (that do not need to use credits to achieve compliance).

What sets GE’s Tier 4 engine apart from competitors?

GE’s Tier 4 technology requires no after treatment systems – including Urea. Eliminating Urea dependency can potentially save GE customers $1.5 billion in infrastructure costs.

How does GE’s Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive meet the EPA emissions standard?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stringent “Tier 4” emission standards call for the single-largest emission reduction in the tiered program’s timeline. GE plans to meet these standards through multiple hardware enhancements. Some of the main enhancements include:

• Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) reduces Nitrogen Oxide (NOx).

• Two-stage turbocharger allows for a higher compression ratio

• The reduction in particulate matter is managed by a high pressure Common Rail fuel delivery system combined with an updated power assembly.

• GE has evaluated and selectively applied technologies that have been used in on-road vehicles that currently meet the EPA’s Tier 4 emission standards.

For more information on the EPA’s Tier 4 emission standards for locomotives click here.

Where will the Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive be manufactured?

Manufacturing will take place at GE Transportation’s  Erie, PA, Grove City, PA and Fort Worth, TX sites.

How many orders does GE have for its Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotives?

In 2014, we received over 1355 Evolution Series Tier 4 locomotive orders for fulfillment over the next three years.

How does this tie-in with GE’s ecomagination?

Ecomagination is the company’s commitment to technology solutions that save money and reduce environmental impact for its customers and GE’s own operations. The Evolution Series locomotive platform is ecomagination certified. The Tier 4 locomotive’s emissions are 76% lower in nitrogen oxide with 85% fewer particulates than our engines from 10 years ago.

  • Evolution Series Tier 4 Technology

    • Key features of the Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive include:
    • More than 70 percent reduction in emissions from Tier 3 locomotive technology;
    • Advanced air-to-air cooling system for better performance and lower emissions;
    • AC individual-axle traction control for greater hauling power along with reduced slippage on startups, grades and suboptimal track conditions;
    • Dynamic braking technology to help reduce wheel and brake wear by 20-40 percent; and
    • Computer controlled architecture for improved diagnostics and simplified operation.

    Tier 4 and the “GE Store”

    Outside the labs, there are 47,000 other engineers working at GE. The real payoff comes when they pool their expertise, cross business boundaries, and come up with innovative ways to crack tough problems. Inventing a U.S. EPA Tier 4 compliant locomotive was only possible thanks to GE Transportation’s access to the “GE Store.”

    The locomotive’s advanced power, fuel and exhaust systems, turbochargers, and other technology are the result of contributions from six different GE businesses. As a result, the locomotive cuts NOx emissions by 76 percent, particulate matter emissions by 70 percent, compared to previous models. It also means that we were the first company to produce U.S. EPA Tier 4 technology locomotives to meet customer demands in 2015.

    Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)

    Developed a new system to meet Tier 4 Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) standards.


    Increased the length (16”) and increased the weight (8,000 pounds)

    Cooling System

    A two-stage charged air system featuring enhanced heat exchangers.

    Variable Speed Auxiliaries

    The Tier 4 design adds auxiliary inverters/motors and six panels while eliminating the need for an auxiliary alternator, contactors and cycle skippers. 

    Base Engine Improvements

    Base engine reliability and performance improvements include: Increased bearing size, longer crankshaft, top feed fuel injectors for easier removal and simplified fuel lines


    Two-stage turbocharging allows for a higher compression ratio, fuel efficiency, reduced thermal stress.

    Fuel System

    Increased reliability as a result of new double wall fuel lines, gear driven pumps and lower pump pulsation. Improved ease of maintenance by positioning the injector on top of the power assy.

    Engine Control Unit (ECU) & Power Supply

    A new ECU with 50 percent more sensors and a separate power supply come together to help provide improved reliability, performance and diagnostics.

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