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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF awarded $22.3 million California grant to pilot clean technology


BNSF Railway Co. and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District have been preliminarily awarded a $22.6 million grant from the California Air Resource Board to pilot emissions-reducing technologies in and around rail yards.

BNSF will collaborate with industry partners to test the feasibility of the technologies, company officials said in a press release.

The Zero and Near Zero Emission Freight Facilities grant will cover about half the cost of what is estimated to be a $45 million project. The remaining amount will be funded by BNSF and the other corporate partners.

"BNSF is focused on continuing to reduce our environmental impact, and we're committed to doing our part to test and prove the commercial viability of emerging technologies that reduce emissions," said John Lovenburg, vice president, environmental.

The initiatives will build on BNSF's existing investments in sustainable technologies, including idle control, electric wide-span cranes, electric hostlers, automated gates at its intermodal facilities and Tier 4 locomotives.

As part of the project, BNSF will partner with GE Transportation on a battery-elective locomotive that will be paired with diesel locomotives to power a freight rain traveling from Stockton to Barstow, California.

GE will design and build an AC Evolution Series locomotive featuring an overall energy-management system, including onboard energy storage, which — coupled with advanced system-optimization controls — aims to improve performance.

"Battery-powered or hybrid locomotives are promising technologies for the rail industry with the potential to reduce operating costs and emissions," said Dominique Malenfant, GE Transportation's vice president, global technology. "This project will give us tremendous insight into the capabilities of battery power and the best operational methods of leveraging the technology. It will accelerate the development of this cleaner, more efficient solution for the freight rail industry."

The emissions-reducing project also calls for piloting two hybrid rubber-tire gantry cranes from Mi-Jack. One will be tested at the Stockton Intermodal Facility and the other at the San Bernardino Intermodal Facility. The hybrid cranes, when compared to their diesel counterparts, have the ability to reduce emissions by 70 percent, BNSF officials said.

Additionally, a Taylor all-electric side loader will be piloted at the San Bernardino Intermodal Facility. Finally, BNSF will partner with SH&H, a drayage truck provider, to demonstrate a BYD all-electric drayage truck in San Bernardino.

Also, BNSF will partner with SH&H, a drayage truck provider, to demonstrate a BYD all-electric drayage truck in San Bernardino.

The equipment will be delivered in 2019 and deployed in 2020.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/12/2018