Local Leaders Praise BNSF for its “green technology” commitment

“Today, we are embracing a new generation of environmentally-friendly rail technology,” said John Lanigan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of BNSF Railway. “Rail has long been the most efficient means humankind has ever created for moving freight overland. This new generation of equipment will help improve Southern California’s air quality and its economy.”

With that announcement, public officials and community leaders were given demonstrations and tours of the latest innovative equipment, including displays of

BNSF’s “Green Goat,” a hybrid switch engine that uses a clean and efficient micro-turbine and batteries. Guests also viewed the only four Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) locomotives in existence in the United States, all located at BNSF’s Los Angeles facility.

In addition, Lanigan pledged that BNSF’s proposed Southern California

International Gateway intermodal facility (SCIG) will use “only LNG-powered locomotives for railcar switching; only LNG-powered ‘hostling’ tractors for moving containers within the facility; and only electrically-powered cranes to lift containers between trucks and trains subject to successful trials and testing.”

Local leaders praised BNSF’s environmental initiatives.

“I commend the BNSF Railway,” said Los Angeles City Council member Janice

Hahn, “for stepping up to the challenge of developing a green intermodal facility that both efficiently moves cargo while working to protect the quality of life for communities and neighborhoods.”

The event, called “BNSF Goes Green,” was held at its Commerce Mechanical Facility. Activities included bus tours of BNSF’s Hobart Yard, the nation’s busiest intermodal facility.

“With the investment in new technology, we can accommodate growth and improve the environment at the same time,” Lanigan added. “The old ways of doing business ’ such as allowing locomotives to run at ‘idle’, when not in use, for hours on end are over.”

The SCIG is expected to eliminate millions of miles of truck traffic off nearby freeways, such as the 710. This will create shorter truck trips for movement of containers from ships to rail, which is expected to ease traffic conditions on local freeways and reduce air quality impacts.

In addition, the SCIG Project will provide direct access to the Alameda Corridor and will enable the Alameda Corridor to reach its potential in terms of train capacity, thereby further realizing the significant benefits that already result from using it, such as reduction of traffic congestion and improvement in air quality.

BNSF is working with Parsec and Sound Energy Solutions to acquire and deploy

LNG powered yard tractors within its Commerce fleet operations. These yard tractors are built by Kalmar Industries of Ottawa, Kansas. In 2006, the use of clean burning LNG yard tractors will reduce NOx and particulate matter emissions by 95% compared to a standard off-road diesel tractor.

BNSF has begun installing the SmartStart engine idle reduction system, manufactured by ZTR Control Systems, on locomotives in Southern California. The key benefits of

SmartStart include:

  • reducing fuel burned by automatically shutting down idling locomotives
  • reducing harmful gas and particulate emissions
  • reducing noise emissions