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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some awesome things about rail

Let me preface this by saying that I am completely biased about rail, my father retired from the CSX and that unionized company put a roof over our heads, food in my stomach and provided us a comfortable lifestyle, that being said here we go:

"Up to five times more fuel-efficient than trucks, CSX trains are the most environmentally friendly way to move goods on land. Over the last decade, CSX invested $1.5 billion to improve its locomotive fuel efficiency and reduce the corresponding emissions. Efficient use of fuel means fewer greenhouse gas emissions for our planet."

"The National Gateway Project is an $842 million public-private infrastructure initiative to create a highly efficient freight transportation link between the Mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest. Double-stack clearances allow rail carriers to stack intermodal containers atop each other, enabling each train to carry about twice as many cargo boxes. This will reduce truck traffic on already crowded highways, and create thousands of jobs that directly or indirectly support the National Gateway."

Some other cool figures:

Reducing The Company’s Footprint
CSX’s long-standing commitment to continual improvement has allowed the company to improve its fuel efficiency through new technology and conservation efforts. Today, CSX can move a ton of freight nearly 500 miles, on average, per gallon of diesel fuel. CSX has invested $2 billion over the last decade to improve its locomotive fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas.

Locomotive Idling Reduction Technology
To reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during idling, CSX has invested in two separate pieces of idle-reducing technology, Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) and Automated Engine Start Stop (AESS). As the name suggests, APUs provide auxiliary power to a locomotive, allowing the larger diesel engine to be shut down. AESS acts similarly by automatically shutting the locomotive down when not in use and automatically starting it when needed. In addition to these systems, CSX invests heavily in training its employees on proper locomotive shutdown rules to eliminate unnecessary idling.

Piloting New Technology
CSX is committed to implementing new technology that optimizes train operations for fuel efficiency. This new, real-time energy management technology uses GPS, track grade and curvature data along with train information to identify the most fuel-efficient throttle settings for each trip as the train moves across the system. In addition, methods of rail lubrication are being explored to reduce rail-to-wheel friction and increase fuel efficiency.

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