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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Railroads are four times more fuel efficient than trucks


For every 27 gallons of diesel consumed by trucks to haul one ton of freight, railroads burn seven gallons to reach a similar distance, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

As part of its "Freight Railroads Go the Distance" campaign, the association notes that U.S. railroads last year moved a ton of freight an average of 436 miles per each gallon of fuel, a 3.1 percent improvement vs. 2006 and "astonishing" 85.5 percent improvement vs. 1980, the AAR said.
"That's the equivalent of moving a ton of freight all the way from Baltimore to Boston on just a single gallon of diesel fuel," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a prepared statement.
Since 1980, railroads have reduced fuel consumption by 48 billion gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 538 million tons — making railroads about four times more fuel efficient than trucks, the AAR said.

Railroads continue to take steps to further reduce fuel consumption and air emissions, such as by working with suppliers to develop technologies that reduce locomotive idling, as well as hybrid and gen-set switchers for yards, and other hybrid and fuel-cell locomotives, the association said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/22/2008