Re: Tier 4 locomotives for the Trona? Nope, haven't heard, but nothing would surprise me....
There are pots of taxpayer grants of money "sloshing around" for these rail power conversions in "non attainment" areas like the Mojave Air Basin. And the Trona fleet is getting pretty old.
So this is about trains, and choo-choo emissions, two things I do know. But no, I haven't heard anything.
Would it surprise me? No, I would not be that surprised, if someone were to offer them "free money" to buy and/or help defray part of the cost of buying new Tier IV engines to replace their aging fleet, that they might just consider taking it.
Us mean old "boomers" have lived long and seen much, so some of us are rarely surprised by much of anything anymore... Not even by stuff that might seem to be pretty marginal, or even just kind of dumb.
Will it make the air that folks breath in the Mojave Air Basin any better to breath? Well, that's another story...
That's because the actual emissions impacts benefits versus the real sources for PM emission in the Mojave Air Basin are another question altogether.
The chart below says that the Mojave Air Basin is a "non attainment" for PM 10 and 2.5 (various fine particulates which lodge in our lungs), but in "attainment" (of air quality standards/aka "safe" amount of the different crap in the air you breath) for nitrous oxides. Which are the main emissions that are reduced by Tier IV technology.
Yes, I do know that nitrous oxides are also a precursor for forming Ozone, and the Mojave is in very marginal non-attainment for Ozone, but mainly in the recording stations around Victorville and Barstow.
Mojave Air Basin attainment status by pollutant type.
Now, for the bad news (at least for this taxpayer who is doing his part in helping to pick up the tab on these kind of things...), which is that while the older engines do produce mostly more PM and NOx which would be lowered with Tier 4 technology, it would likely make absolutely no difference to achieving better PM air quality and/or reaching "attainment" (of the "National Ambient Air Quality Standards") in the Mojave Air Basin.
This is simply because the vast overwhelming majority of PM exposure almost everywhere in the Mojave Air Basin is from "geogenic" (geologically generated) sources PM.... And are a result/funtion of "being" in the Mojave Desert, where there "exists" both vast amounts of naturally occuring "geogenic" dust and wind....
So, from a health impacts cost benefit standpoint, in the greater scheme of the universe, the conversion of Trona engines to Tier IV likely won't do a thing to improve the air anyone out there is breathing, in any meaningful or marginally measurable way.