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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF falls short of first-quarter fuel-conserving goal


Extreme winter weather conditions helped prevent Burlington Northern Santa Fe from reaching its first-quarter fuel-efficiency goal of 780.0 gross ton-miles per gallon (GTMs/gallon). The Class I finished the quarter averaging 745.2 GTMs/gallon.

"We faced some challenges during the first quarter that increased our fuel burn, including unusually cold, icy weather in many parts of the country, major track-maintenance projects on the transcontinental mainline and significant volume increases," said Cheri Carlson, BNSF assistant vice president, fuel management, in a prepared statement.

To reach its 2003 goal of averaging 791.2 GTMs/gallon, BNSF plans to make incremental fuel-efficiency improvements throughout the year.

The Class I expects to focus on shutting down idling locomotives whenever temperatures exceed 40 degrees F, improving horsepower/ton ratios by isolating unneeded locomotives in consists, and reducing power and stretch braking.

"We're talking about a culture change here," said Ken Matzick, a road foreman in Denver. "To meet our target of saving 38 gallons per locomotive per day, we're going to need a 100 percent effort by everyone who can impact fuel conservation."

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More News from 4/25/2003