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11/29/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Locomotives more-environmentally friendly than trucks, RAC says


Locomotive emission rates are lower than those for trucks, and not the other way around as suggested by Canadian Trucking Alliance, said Railway Association of Canada (RAC) President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Rowat in a prepared statement.
"The reality is that rail is more fuel efficient than trucks because of lower rolling friction from steel wheel on steel rail," he says. "That's why rail is less polluting … trucks have other benefits for society, but this isn't it."
A truck air-emissions report prepared by Environment Canada (EC) concluded that truck engines emit three times the hydrocarbons, 12 times the carbon monoxide (CO), half the nitrous oxide (NOx) and one-third the particulate matter per horsepower hour compared with locomotive engines.
"Increased trucking activity has actually offset any benefit to society of cleaner truck engines," said Rowat, referring to a part of the report that claims trucks have reduced emissions more than 80 percent since the 1970s.
RAC cites U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1980-1999 data that claims heavy-duty truck diesel NOx emissions increased 47 percent and CO, 95 percent, while particulate-matter and volatile organic-compound rates declined.
"[EC's] report examined engine technologies, alternative fuels, speed limits, reducing congestion, allowing bigger trucks, improving roads and training drivers, [but] what it didn't examine is revealing," said Rowat. "It didn't examine the option of road pricing for trucks to recover highway costs, reduce congestion or reduce overuse caused by subsidies."
The report also didn't address the option of a more-integrated Canadian transportation system using fuel-efficient rail for long-haul and flexible truck for pick up and delivery, said Rowat.


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