CSX and environmental responsibility
The company has introduced ultra-low emission locomotives to help keep the air clean.
Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 11:23 AM
When it comes to CSX and environmental responsibility, the greening of the company helps its shareholders, its customers and the communities it serves.
Railroads are already four times more fuel efficient than trucks, according to an independent study for the Federal Railroad Administration.
According to the Association of American Railroads, a train traveling coast-to-coast in the United States will use about seven gallons’ worth of fuel per ton of freight hauled. The same study states that a truck will use an estimated 28 gallons of fuel per ton of freight hauled for the same trip.
Meanwhile, railroads have doubled their freight volume since 1980 but their fuel consumption has remained virtually the same.
Emphasizing clean air, sustainable infrastructure and fuel efficiency, CSX has helped the railroad industry become the most environmentally responsible way to move freight in the United States.
For clean air, CSX has introduced ultra-low emission Generator Set (GenSet) locomotives.
The GeneSet locomotive is equipped with two or three small, EPA-certified, ultra-clean diesel generators that switch on and off depending on how much power is needed instead of one large diesel that is always running.
These new, environmentally-responsible locomotives reduce nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions by 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent.
To further encourage businesses to ship their freight using CSX — and thus lower CO2 emissions — the company has developed an online Carbon Calculator.
This online tool allows businesses to input the weight of their freight and the distance it will be travelling and then compares the emission results to that of a similar trip completed by truck.
Railroad infrastructures need investing to remain competitive in the global economy as well as to remain an environmentally responsible method of transportation over land.
To that end, CSX developed the National Gateway project. The aim of the project is to improve the flow of freight between the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest by upgrading tracks, equipment and facilities, and by raising bridges, increasing tunnel clearances and building terminals along existing rail.
Not only does this project help the rail industry, but these improvements can reduce transportation-related emissions by 20 million tons while also alleviating congestion on roads and highways.
Ultimately, the most important thing for rail to do is maintain its fuel efficiency edge over other forms of land transportation.
CSX has invested $1.5 billion over the past 10 years to improve its fuel efficiency. In addition, the company has trained its engineers with simulators to improve fuel-awareness handling, as well as recording their engineers’ driving to continually train and improve its workers.
The company has also worked to reduce idling time by automatically shutting down the locomotive when not in use and automatically starting it when needed.
In addition to these new technologies, engineers are also trained in the proper ways to shut down a locomotive to reduce unnecessary or accidental idling.
Also, CSX was the first railroad to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders Program.
This voluntary initiative allows businesses to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
CSX pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by eight percent per revenue ton mile from 2006 to 2011.
This commitment would reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2.4 million tons – the equivalent of taking more than 440,000 cars off the road each year.
Through its emphasis on clean air, sustainable infrastructure, fuel efficiency and efforts at industrial leadership, CSX remains one of the railroad industry’s most environmentally-responsible companies.
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Editor’s note: CSX is a Mother Nature Network sponsor.