California Air Resources Board wants locomotives and railyards to be better on the environment

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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David C. Lester

Railroad companies in California might be feeling more pressure when it comes to the environment. On Nov. 20, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is going to start holding public meetings and workshops, and the goal is for cleaner air around the tracks.

CARB wants to reduce emissions from locomotives and railyards.

CARB has been fighting with the Environmental Protection Agency for years involving cleaner air and locomotives, and petitioned the EPA to tighten the federal emissions standards. The EPA revoked a waiver allowing California to set emission standards for passenger vehicles. California wants the same freedom when dealing with locomotives. The waiver is authorized in the Clean Air Act.

According to BNSF, locomotive diesel particulate matter decreased as much as 43 percent in railyards in Commerce and San Bernardino, Calif. BNSF is attempting to launch the first battery electronic locomotive, thanks in part to a $22.6 million CARB grant.

Class 1 railroad companies continue to use Tier 1 and even Tier 0 locomotives to keep up with demand, but BNSF says there are also Tier 2 and cleaner locomotives out there.

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Categories: Class 1, Freight, Rail News, Railroad News, Shortline/Regional, Yards & Terminals
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