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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Union Pacific, Progress Rail partner to reduce GHGs via B20 approval


Union Pacific announced that the Caterpillar-owned locomotive-maker Progress Rail has approved the use of up to 20 percent biodiesel (B20) in its Electro-Motive Diesels operated by Union Pacific. The locomotives previously had been approved to operate on 5 percent biodiesel. The greenlight for B20 was given after testing and monitoring performance for fuel consumption, impact on engine oil and fuel filters and other parameters. Union Pacific says additional biodiesel testing and development by Progress Rail is ongoing.

“Union Pacific is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint, and this is another step toward achieving our long-term goal to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26 percent by 2030,” said Beth Whited, a Union Pacific executive who oversees the railroad’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) efforts. “We continue to identify opportunities to increase low carbon fuel usage in our locomotives and appreciate Progress Rail’s partnership in our efforts.”

Marty Haycraft, president and CEO of Progress Rail, said, “At Progress Rail, we are committed to offering sustainable solutions by providing products that facilitate fuel transition, increase operational efficiency, and reduce emissions. Through continually investing in new products, technologies, and services, we offer a wide range of fuel flexibility, making a meaningful, positive impact on the environment and supporting our customers in achieving their GHG reduction goals.”

Union Pacific noted that these efforts can help its partners reduce their environmental footprint too.

“Moving freight by rail instead of truck reduces GHG emissions by up to 75 percent, and one train can carry the freight of hundreds of trucks, reducing congestion on the nation’s already gridlocked highways,” the railroad stated.

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