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LEAF locomotive

Fairmount Minerals “On Track” with Sustainability Efforts

Oct. 8, 2012
Cummins QSX15-L3 600-hp Gen Set minimizes fuel usage, cuts emissions Locomotive allows Fairmount to reduce mine’s impact on community “Out-pulls conventional locomotives at typical switching speeds”

Railserve, a provider of switching locomotives and related rail-transport services, recently supplied Fairmount Minerals’ Wisconsin Industrial Sand Co. operation in Maiden Rock, WI, with a new a locomotive for in-plant transfers of sand products. The Railserve LEAF locomotive is a fuel-efficient engine that uses a single Cummins QSX15-L3 600-hp Gen Set to minimize fuel usage and reduce emissions, and yet performs like a traditional switching locomotive. The builder maintains that it reduces NOx emissions and particulate matter 84%, fuel consumption by 50%, and meets EPA emissions standards for Tier III diesel engines.

Fairmount Minerals is among of the largest producers of industrial sand in the U.S., and maintains 23 mining, mineral processing, and manufacturing and coating operations. Its specialized sands are supplied to metalcasting, but also for construction, filtration, glassmaking, and oil-and-gas operations. The company has long pursued a commitment to “sustainable development.”

“We believe strongly in minimizing our impact on the environment and by understanding the broader trends affecting sustainability, we are able to anticipate and identify areas of opportunity and risk that will enable us to continue championing environmental and social improvement while also growing our business,” according to a Fairmount Minerals statement.

A 2011 improvement program at Maiden Rock updated the 80-year-old mine into a modern mineral mining and processing facility. “The LEAF fits perfectly with our corporate-wide commitment to be a leader in sustainability,” according to plant manager Al Nelson.

“We recently constructed a new extended rail spur and load-out station, 1,500 feet farther south of the village of Maiden Rock. Relocating the rail load-out station means that our operations have less of an impact on the community of Maiden Rock.

“Use of the LEAF locomotive made this move possible,” Nelson continued. Fairmount will use the gen set to transport up to 48 loaded-hopper cars of sand for shipments to customers via the Maiden Rock interchange with BNSF Railway.

“Shipper, port, utility and other facilities with high railcar volumes can benefit from these cleaner, greener and leaner units,” stated Railserve’s T.J. Mahoney, program manager for LEAF Gen-Set locomotives. “In addition to its environmental benefits, it out-pulls conventional locomotives at typical switching speeds, thanks to proprietary technology that delivers maximum power to each individual axle.”

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)