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Rail News: Intermodal

BNSF gains transit time benefits from new locomotive refueling procedure at L.A. port


A new locomotive fueling process BNSF Railway Co. implemented last year at the Port of Los Angeles is helping to speed up trains — a key service metric given the port’s and railroad’s rising intermodal traffic. In 2005, on-dock container loadings rose 23 percent compared with 2004.

Instead of refueling power at nearby Watson Yard, BNSF now uses diesel trucks to refill locomotives’ tanks directly at the port. The direct-to-locomotive refueling procedure has reduced the previous four-hour refueling process. In addition, most trains now bypass a fueling point in Barstow, Calif., decreasing transit time.

“Velocity has increased tremendously, and locomotives can now make it all the way to Belen, N.M., without running out of fuel,” said Rich Dennison, superintendent of BNSF’s L.A. operations, in a prepared statement.

BNSF installed two tie-up tracks at the ports to refuel 40 locomotives a day using three dedicated refueling trucks, which each contain about 7,000 gallons of diesel.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/4/2006