Friday, November 21, 2014

BNSF Retrofitting 11 Cargo Trains

By Mark Edward Nero

BNSF Railway, in partnership with Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency and engine heating solution company HOTSTART, is retrofitting 11 locomotives with idle-reduction technology to reduce emissions and conserve fuel in Washington.

The pool of locomotives will operate out of the BNSF rail yards in Spokane, Washington and Pasco, Washington, which carry crude oil and other cargo to and from the ports in Seattle, Tacoma and Pasco.

To lower carbon dioxide emissions at the Spokane and Pasco rail yards, BNSF purchased HOTSTART’s Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) to reduce idling during cold weather. The technology keeps the engine warm and ready to restart, thereby reducing fuel consumption, oil consumption, emissions, noise and engine wear.

“We’re thrilled that our technology, developed and built right here in Spokane, will help BNSF save fuel and reduce emissions right in our own backyard,” HOTSTART CEO Terry Judge said.

In addition to the APUs, BNSF has installed Automatic Engine Start-Stop systems (AESS) that can be used in conjunction with the APU to shut down the locomotive when not needed. The railroad says that the combination of APUs and AESS can potentially eliminate most locomotive engine idling.

When all of the retrofits are complete, BNSF says, the project could reduce emissions by more than 22 tons during the six-month, cold weather operational period.

“This project is an excellent example of how technology can be used to reduce air pollution while saving a company money through significant fuel savings,” Spokane Clean Air Director Julie Oliver said.