Tunnels represent one of the most severe operating conditions for diesel engines in diesel-electric locomotive applications, specifically for nonventilated tunnels located at high elevation. High ambient air temperatures are observed in these tunnels due to heat rejected from the locomotive engines through the exhaust and engine cooling and lubrication systems. Engine protection algorithms cause the maximum allowable engine horsepower to be reduced due to these conditions leading to a reduction in train speed and occasionally train stall. A first law based model was developed to simulate the performance of a train pulled by GE diesel-electric locomotives equipped with medium speed diesel engines in a high altitude and nonventilated tunnel. The model was compared against and calibrated to actual tunnel operation data of EPA Tier 2 compliant locomotives. The model was then used to study the impact of engine design changes required for EPA Tier 4 compliant locomotives, specifically the introduction of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), on engine, locomotive, and train performance in the tunnel. Simulations were completed to evaluate engine control strategies targeting same or better train performance than the EPA Tier 2 compliant locomotive baseline case. Simulation results show that the introduction of EGR reduces train performance in the tunnel by increasing the required reduction in engine horsepower, but is slightly offset by improved performance from other engine design changes. The targeted engine and train performance could be obtained by disabling EGR during tunnel operation.

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