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Rail News: Mechanical

Railway Association of Canada report: Canadian roads are increasing traffic, decreasing fuel usage


In 2002, Canadian railroads moved 28 percent more freight compared with 1990, but consumed less fuel, according to a recent Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and Environment Canada report. The reason? Freight roads are working smarter and employing better technology, said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Rowat in a prepared statement.

Roads are purchasing more fuel-efficient and modern locomotives that feature low idling and automatic start/stop systems to help conserve fuel and reduce emissions compared with older equipment. Railroads also are changing operating practices to improve equipment scheduling and asset utilization.

The association and Environment Canada published "Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program 2002" as part of a 10-year government-industry agreement signed in 1995. Canadian roads moved 361 billion gross ton-miles of freight — two-thirds of Canada's domestic and international freight volume — and carried 53.5 million passengers in 2002, the report states.

Freight roads used 6.06 liters of fuel per 1,000 revenue ton-kilometers (RTK) in 2002 compared with 7.83 liters of fuel per 1,000 RTK in 1990 — a decrease of 22.3 percent. Between 1990 and 2002, freight and passenger roads cut fuel usage 0.5 percent despite increasing RTK 28.2 percent, the report said.

"By reducing their emissions and steadily improving their overall fuel efficiency, railroads help Canadian industries remain competitive," said Rowat.

RAC represents 60 Canadian freight, commuter, intercity and tourist railroads.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/4/2004