Locomotive technology has been essential to improving our network fuel efficiency—94% of BNSF’s emissions come from our locomotives. As such, we have made a significant investment in three key areas of locomotive technology: new locomotives, Automatic Engine Start/Stop (AESS) systems and Energy Management Systems (EMS).

BNSF is proud to have the largest number of the newest and cleanest-burning locomotives in North America. Since 2005, BNSF has purchased more than 3,600 new locomotives, including more than 500 locomotives since Tier 4 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards took effect in 2015. BNSF has also equipped more than 3,500 locomotives with EMS, which allows throttles and dynamic brakes to be controlled automatically, similar to cruise control in an automobile.

EMS factors in the train makeup (length, weight and horsepower, track geometry, grade, curvature) and speed restrictions to determine the most fuel-efficient way to operate the train across the territory while maintaining appropriate train handling. Additionally, we are integrating EMS with Positive Train Control (PTC) to maximize the utilization of EMS and minimize fuel consumption.