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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Tri-Rail to fuel locomotives with biodiesel


The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) recently announced all Tri-Rail commuter-rail trains will operate on biodiesel fuel.

The agency plans to use a 99 percent blend of either palm or soy oil when available. Tri-Rail is one of the few commuter railroads in the country that can operate on such a pure fuel blend due to south Florida's warm climate, according to SFRTA, which oversees Tri-Rail.

Biodiesel fuel produces fewer emissions, provides comparable power and efficiency vs. diesel, can be mixed with diesel without modification, and is safer to store and transport. Biodiesel fuel produces about 43 percent less carbon monoxide, 56 percent fewer hydrocarbons, 55 percent less particulates, 60 to 90 percent fewer air toxins and 78 percent less carbon dioxide than diesel fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Tri-Rail will use biodiesel fuel in all conventional train sets. Due to warranty restrictions, diesel multiple units will continue to use standard diesel.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2008