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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF, Wabtec launch biofuels pilot project


BNSF Railway Co. and Wabtec yesterday announced they're working together to advance sustainability with a new biofuel project aimed at quantifying the impact of alternative fuels on emissions, durability and performance in Wabtec locomotives.

BNSF and Wabtec will begin testing biofuel in the second quarter. The companies aim to demonstrate the performance of biodiesel (B20) and renewable diesel (R55) in revenue service on Wabtec Tier 3 and Tier 4 Evolution Series locomotives in California. BNSF will operate the locomotives between Barstow and Los Angeles, the companies said in a press release.

Wabtec already has approved a 5% biodiesel (B5) and 30% renewable diesel (R30) blend for its locomotive engines.

"Rail is already the most carbon-efficient mode of land freight transport, and the use of these lower carbon fuels is another means for BNSF to reduce its emissions and help meet its carbon reduction goal," said John Lovenburg, BNSF's vice president of environment and sustainability.

Last year, BNSF conducted a pilot with a battery-electric locomotive developed by Wabtec in commercial service between Barstow and Stockton that showed an 11% reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions compared with standard diesel units operated on the same route.

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