The tests evaluated the performance, emissions, and mechanical properties of the new power unit, and were carried out in a newly-commissioned test cell at GE's Grove City plant in Pennsylvania, which produces around 3000 engines a year.

For the next phase of testing, the engine will be fitted to a GE Evolution Series locomotive.

"We've already manufactured 27 engines and the completion of this test is a major step forward in our Tier 4 journey," says Mrs Tina Donikowski, vice-president of GE Locomotives, Marine, and Stationary & Drill. "Through the efforts of the GE team in Grove City, we'll be able to validate the test cell and the production process and make improvements to our overall plan."

GE says the engine can reduce Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particular Matter (PM) emissions by at least 70% below the level required by Tier 3 standards.

Over the past four years, GE has invested $US 130m in its Grove City plant to support remanufacturing and Tier 4 engine production.