Today’s high tech trains require well-lubricated engines to run smoothly and cover long distances. Having a maintenance routine and using a high-quality railroad diesel engine oil (RRDEO) are critical to the longevity of a railroad operation. Operators who select products that incorporate advanced technology reduce risk down the line, be it a short or cross-country.

What to consider

When purchasing RRDEO, pay attention to the total base number (TBN). The TBN indicates how much performance-related additive remains in the oil over a period of time and indicates when the oil must be changed. These important additives offset the effects of damaging, corrosive acids in the engine.  Therefore, the longer the additives are found in the oil, the more protection the engine receives. In RRDEO, the TBN typically ranges from 9 to 13 and the higher the number, the longer those corrosive acids will be neutralized.

You’ll also need to consider the oil grade of your RRDEO. The oil grade refers to the viscosity of the lubricant. It’s typical to see two types of grades: 40W or 20W-40. Most railroad manufacturers have moved to using only these two grades because they’re much more efficient and provide smoother engine startup.

Why to use zinc-free railroad engine oil

Most locomotive engines, including General Electric locomotive diesel engines and Electro-Motive Diesel engines, have silver bearings and require zinc-free oil. Zinc attacks silver and can damage bearings, leading to significant downtime and repairs. Not only does a high quality zinc-free RRDEO provide superior corrosion control and protection for silver bearings, but the right oil delivers:

  • Engine protection: Quality RRDEOs provide excellent wear, deposit, high-temperature stability and oxidation control.
  • Alignment with higher emission standards: Reduced sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulfur means lower particulates to help meet EPA Tier 3 and 4 standards.
  • Extended service drains: Field testing supports extended drain intervals, longer filter life and lower oil consumption, which improves locomotive efficiency and reduces maintenance costs.

All Cenex® RRDEO formulations are zinc-free, providing exceptional protection of silver bearings. They’re also chlorine-free to reduce environmental impact for both new and older locomotive engines. The balanced detergent, dispersant and anti-wear system provides superior soot, sludge, viscosity and wear control, resulting in improved engine cleanliness, lower wear and fewer particulate emissions.

To learn more about Cenex RRDEOs, talk to your local Cenex dealer.

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