Helping Preserve the Natural Beauty of the Pacific Northwest

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At BNSF Railway, we’re proud to be an industry leader in protecting the environment.

Our trains move most of the agricultural products Washington farmers grow, and help manufacturers and the timber industry deliver their products around the world. And they do it in a way that is far more environmentally friendly than any other mode of ground transportation.

In fact, the average BNSF intermodal train moves the equivalent of what 280 trucks could move, cutting carbon emissions by more than 50% while reducing congestion on our nation’s highways. All told, freight rail moves 40% of all U.S. products, but only contributes 2.3% of transportation greenhouse gases. And at BNSF, we’re working to reduce that percentage even more.

Each BNSF intermodal train takes hundreds of trucks off the highway, reducing traffic and carbon emissions by more than 50%.

In the last 10 years, we’ve replaced close to 40% of our fleet with more energy efficient locomotives. This has resulted in a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency, along with a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 14%.

Last year, we added more than 600 new, more energy efficient locomotives making our fleet the newest and cleanest in the nation. We also remanufactured more than 3,000 locomotives in the last decade to help further reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Operating a more modern fleet means we use less fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions, particulates and nitrogen oxides.

Our newer, EPA-certified ultra-low emissions diesel locomotives utilize three low-horsepower engines that only operate when needed, saving fuel and reducing emissions.

At BNSF, we’re using other environmentally friendly technologies across our business to be more efficient and to reduce emissions.

This includes being the first U.S. rail carrier to use wide-span electric cranes at our facilities, including at our Seattle International Gateway intermodal facility. These cranes, used to load and unload trains, produce zero carbon emissions on-site and significantly reduce the number of trucks needed to move containers within the rail yard.

We’ve also installed automatic engine start/stop devices on close to 95% of our locomotives, helping reduce our annual fuel usage by thousands of gallons for each locomotive equipped with this technology. And we’re in the process of installing driver assist technology to further enhance fuel efficiency.

At BNSF Railway, we strive to protect the environment and the communities in which we operate. And we will continue to proactively pursue opportunities to develop, test and deploy technologies that result in an ever-improving sustainable transportation model.

A BNSF train hauling wind turbine components.

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