BNSF Green Technology Innovations

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BNSF Green Technology Innovations

We are initiating several technologies designed to reduce emissions.

Idle control: Idle-control mechanisms installed on locomotives reduce air emissions and fuel consumption by automatically shutting down locomotives that aren't being used. We've equipped more than 70 percent of our 6,600 locomotives with idle-control technology, and all new locomotives we purchase are equipped with this technology. We will continue to retrofit older locomotives.

GenSet switch locomotives: The GenSet locomotive is an ultra low-emissions, EPA-certified diesel switch locomotive. This locomotive has three low-horsepower engines that only operate when needed instead of one large engine operating at all times, saving fuel and reducing air emissions. BNSF operates 74 GenSet locomotives in Texas and California.

New hybrid technology: We are working with our locomotive manufacturers to develop hybrid technology for line-haul locomotives. For years, locomotives have used dynamic braking, and now we are finding innovative ways to capture energy generated during braking and reuse it as needed for propulsion.

Electric wide-span cranes: BNSF was the first U.S. rail carrier to install wide-span cranes. These cranes produce zero emissions on site while generating power each time they lower a load. The wide stance design of these new cranes eliminates as many as six diesel trucks (hostlers) for shuttling containers within the intermodal facility, reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency. We currently use this technology at our Seattle International Gateway intermodal facility and Memphis intermodal facility.

Intermodal automated gate system: BNSF has installed new intermodal gate technology using digital cameras to record images of the containers, chassis, tractors and unit numbers as they enter the intermodal facility. In addition, drivers are identified using a biometric system. These new gates have increased facility throughput and reduced truck idling time and air emissions by 50 percent. BNSF has installed these gates at its intermodal facilities in San Bernardino, Calif.; Corwith, Ill.; Alliance, Texas; and logistics park in Chicago.

More about what BNSF is doing for the environment

Content from this campaign

New Idle-Reduction Technology on BNSF Locomotives Helps to Improve Air Quality, Conserve Fuel in Washington State
BNSF Railway, in partnership with Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (Spokane Clean Air) and HOTSTART, is retrofitting 11 locomotives with HOTSTART 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, Wash. and Pasco, Wash. “Minimizing our impact on the planet is a key priority for all...
Nov 18, 2014 11:00 AM ET
Railroad Leaders Come Together to Address Sustainability
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, Sept. 2, 2014 /3BL Media/ - BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern and GE Transportation are partnering to address sustainability in the rail industry. At the fourth annual Railroad Sustainability Symposium that begins today, sustainability and business leaders representing railroad operators, manufacturers, shippers and environmental stakeholders, including non-governmental...
Sep 2, 2014 4:00 PM ET
BNSF Listed Among "Green Supply Chain Partners"
BNSF listed among "Green Supply Chain Partners" BNSF Railway was recently listed among Inbound Logistics magazine's top 75 "Green Supply Chain Partners" for this year. The magazine recognized BNSF for employing a range of technologies that support its...
Jul 23, 2014 11:20 AM ET
BNSF Implements Technologies That Enhance Fuel-Efficient Train Operations
Rail is the most fuel- and cost-efficient means for moving freight over land, and BNSF Railway is continuing to enhance that performance. Two key BNSF initiatives include energy management systems that maximize locomotive efficiency and a Fuel MVP program that rewards locomotive engineers for exceptional efficiency in train handling. Transportation by rail provides tremendous benefits...
Feb 27, 2014 4:00 PM ET
BNSF Helps Sierra Nevada Reap Sustainability Benefits of Intermodal
Ken Grossman had a thirst for quality crafted beer. Turns out, so did a lot of people. During America’s craft brewing movement in the late 1970s, Grossman hand built a small brew house at Chico, Calif., with a goal of making exceptional ales and lagers using premium ingredients. He called his company the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and on Nov. 15, 1980, his small team of employees brewed the...
Jan 23, 2014 12:00 PM ET