Patents are supposed to be for new ideas, not things that would be obvious to "one skilled in the art." But I have no idea how this standard is applied in practice: the wording is vague enough that the standard of novelty is up for grabs...
Anyway, Knoxville's approach to repowering old locomotives is to use a new (smaller, higher rpm) diesel engine(*) but to use the original traction alternator (and so, I guess, pretty much the original high-voltage electrical equipment. (The new engine is comparable to that in "genet" locomotives, though KLW uses a single 2000 hp engine instead of multiple small ones-- the saving is that they don't need a new "gen".) The novel idea is to use a reduction gear to mate the high-rpm engine with the EMD traction alternator. ... Use of reduction gears to match a high-rpm power source to a lower rpm application isn't, in the abstract, a new idea. (Propellors, for efficiency, have to be low-rpm. Steam turbines, for efficiency, have to be high-rpm. Reduction gearing for steamships with turbine engines goes back to the early 20th C.) But the detailed design of the system is probably patentable.
(*) The engine they use is German. The name has changed (the German manufacturer has probably undergone corporate mergers or reorganizations), but I think it is a developed version of the engine used on the K-M diesel hydraulic locomotives built for D&RGW and SP in the 1960s, as well as many more successful d-h locomotives for German railways.
Thanks for posting the news: it sounds as if KLW's product is attracting enough interest from potential purchasers to make KLW and its investors optimistic.
(((Final comment from a GE locomotive fan: pity there aren't more old U-boats in existence! You might want a slightly different gear ratio, but linking an MTU engine to a GTA-11 shouldn't be any harder than linking it to an AR-10.)))