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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail industry maintains pursuit of emission-reducing practices


The North American rail industry continues to seek ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Last week, Amtrak announced plans to voluntarily and publicly report its emissions, and undergo an independent assessment of environmental programs to reduce its carbon footprint.

The national intercity passenger railroad recently became a member of The Climate Registry. Amtrak — the first railroad to join the registry — aims to meet the non-profit organization's comprehensive reporting standards for recording and managing emissions, including those from diesel and electric locomotives, passenger-rail cars, maintenance equipment, stations, offices and other facilities.

Already a charter member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Amtrak also joined Climate Counts, a non-profit organization that provides an independent and verifiable assessment of a company's environmental commitment.

Meanwhile, the Montreal Port Authority will obtain up to $500,000 from Transport Canada's Freight Technology Demonstration Fund to demonstrate a multiple-generator locomotive designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and fuel consumption. The port — which is served by Canadian Pacific and CN — plans to conduct a demonstration project at its marshalling yard for a six-month period.

CP, along with the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. (WSOR), also will benefit from federal funds in the United States to pursue “greener” locomotives.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $571,107 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to help finance clean-diesel projects. The funds will help finance the installation of automatic shutdown/startup equipment on six CP and 34 WSOR locomotives. The equipment is designed to reduce emissions by 50 percent to 70 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/28/2009