BNSF Railway Looks To Reduce Pollution

by | Nov 12, 2008

railway.jpgGovernment officials and BNSF Railway executives are looking into ways of reducing air pollution after the company was criticized for elevating cancer risks for nearby residents, the Sun reports.

BNSF executives are already cutting back air and diesel pollution emitted by trucks and locomotives by using engines that automatically shut down after idling for five minutes. Tom Ison, a BNSF executive, told the Sun that the devices add $10,000 to the cost of an engine.

BNSF also reported that  99 percent of its switch locomotives used at California rail yards use anti-idling technology.

The company plans to install filter traps on its cranes but are not sure how to make the technology work yet. The company lost $80,000 in a previous attempt to install one of the filters.

Currently, two-thirds of the 45 hostlers used at the San Bernardino yard have been replaced with models that meet environmental standards for road vehicles. The remaining vehicles are expected to be replaced next year.

Mark Stehly, a BNSF assistant vice president, told the Sun that since 2005, the rail yard have cut emissions 30 percent.

In August, amid skyrocketing oil-prices, U.S. railroads began marketing themselves as carbon footprint-cutting tools.

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