Rail Roundup: Green initiatives, rehabilitation of Windy City

Union Pacific and Shell sign agreement on green initiatives

Union Pacific and energy producer Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding that could help the two companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

UP (NYSE:UNP) also says it aims to reduce GHG emissions by 26% by 2030.

Areas the two companies plan to work on together include:

  • Increase biofuel blends and renewable fuel blends in locomotives.
  • Review the use of renewable energy in fleet vehicles and facilities.
  • Recycling of used railway sleepers into biological raw materials.
  • Study of alternative locomotive propulsion systems.
  • Exploring energy efficiency through a pilot project of Shell’s remote oil performance monitoring technology.

“We are excited to launch an exciting new phase in our relationship, one that explores research and development and pushes us to try things that could have a significant impact on Union Pacific’s efforts to further reduce GHG emissions. “said Beth Whited, UP’s executive vice president for sustainability and strategy in a statement. “While rail is already one of the most environmentally friendly ways to move goods, locomotive technology needs to evolve and we need partners, like Shell, who can help the whole industry to think about the future in new ways.”

Carlos Maurer, Executive Vice President of Shell (NYSE: SHEL) for Sectors and Decarbonization. said, “This new relationship with Union Pacific has the potential to unlock unique synergies in the development of low-carbon products. We are excited to see what new solutions are emerging that could decarbonize the rail sector. »

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Chicago Rail Bridge Rehabilitation Project Receives $70 Million in Federal Funding

A 2-mile stretch of railroad track in Chicago will be upgraded to ease the flow of rail freight through the region, thanks to a $70 million federal grant.

The project is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Area Transportation Environment and Efficiency (CREATE) program, a public-private partnership between the six Class I railroads, passenger rail and state and local governments.

The project is to upgrade the Westside Gateway, Ogden Junction, also known as WA1. The project will repair, replace or eliminate 16 railway bridges, many of which are over 100 years old, according to CREATE.

These bridges are located on the Union Pacific Rockwell Line, which runs along Rockwell Avenue between Fulton and 16th Street. The overpasses under the bridges, which are about the same age as the bridges, will also be repaired and repainted, CREATE said. Some viaducts will also be raised.

Federal funding came from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program, known as the INFRA grant program.

The Chicago area is important for rail freight because it serves as a major interchange point between eastern and western United States railroads. The region has always been prone to delays, in part due to seasonal weather conditions, the volume of traffic passing through the region, and the limited ground resources available to handle the traffic.

The bridge replacement project is part of a larger CREATE project that will also involve the replacement, rehabilitation, removal or upgrade of signage along the 2-mile stretch, as well as the construction of 10,000 feet new path. The overall cost of the project is $170 million.

The signage upgrade involves installing a two-way computerized traffic control system on the 2-mile stretch, as well as converting seven manual switches to power switches. New checkpoints in the area will also allow simultaneous movement between UP (NYSE:UNP), CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) while enabling more efficient and safer operating speeds, said CREATE.

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The Railway Supply Institute and its Canadian and European counterparts make a pact

The US-based Railway Supply Institute (RSI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its Canadian and European counterparts to facilitate collaboration between railway supply industry organizations.

The Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers (CARS) and the European Rail Supply Industry Association are the organizations that join RSI.

A joint statement this week says the memorandum of understanding will allow the three entities to cooperate in several areas, including government procurement, global standards and skills. The collaboration will help foster the health and future of the industry, they said.

“The railway equipment industry in Canada, the United States and Europe are strategic manufacturing sectors. Currently, major investments in rail projects are underway on both sides of the Atlantic. This MOU further reinforces the recognition that rail is the greenest and safest way to move people and goods,” CARS President Sylvia Newell said in a press release.

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