Tuesday 4 May 2010
News from UIC Members

USA: Amtrak: First in-service test of a cleaner and renewable biodiesel fuel with beef byproducts

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Recognized as one of the most energy efficient modes of transportation, Amtrak continues to lead the way to make its intercity passenger rail operations even greener with practices and tactics for improved fuel efficiency. Being Greener is one of six strategic goals for America’s passenger railroad. In support of that goal, Amtrak has embarked on a number of measures to lower fuel consumption, reduce emissions and make better use of resources.

In Oklahoma and Texas, Amtrak announced the first in-service test of a cleaner and renewable biodiesel fuel blended with twenty percent beef byproducts to power the interstate passenger train (Oklahoma City – Fort Worth that is expected to reduce hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide each by 10 percent, particulates by 15 percent and sulfates by 20 percent. The primary objective of the test program will be to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of utilising biodiesel as an alternative fuel for passenger locomotives. Amtrak is offering a 50-percent discount to the passengers that participate in the biofuel test.

Other environmental management programs and practices implemented by Amtrak to move the railroad toward a more sustainable transportation system include: the installation of recycling receptacles in its trains and stations, reducing the amount of “idling” time on diesel locomotives, using dynamic and regenerative braking systems on electric locomotives to return energy to the grid and employing bio-lubricants in hydraulic systems. Passengers can even purchase carbon offsets for their travel on Amtrak.

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