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Freight rails trying other locomotive fuels to cut emissions

Railroad Emissions
Posted at 12:15 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 12:15:00-05

OMAHA, Neb. — The major freight railroads across North America continue to experiment with alternative locomotive fuels as a way to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

BNSF railroad said Wednesday that it plans to test out a hydrogen-powered locomotive along its lines, joining Canadian Pacific in experimenting with that technology.

Several past tests at other railroads have looked at natural gas-powered locomotives and battery-powered options. Using some combination of these new locomotives will be key to helping the railroads achieve their emissions-reduction goals.

But the railroads all caution that the new technology won’t be ready to start replacing the diesel workhorses for at least several more years.