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Progress Rail approves Union Pacific biodiesel blend hike

In the United States (US), Union Pacific locomotives will be getting a boost of biodiesel fuel. Progress Rail Services Corporation (Progress Rail), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., has approved the use of up to 20 percent biodiesel blends in specific Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) locomotive series operated by the railroad. Previously, the locomotives were approved to operate at a 5 percent biodiesel blend.

Progress Rail Services Corporation (Progress Rail), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., has approved the use of up to 20 percent biodiesel blends in specific Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) locomotive series operated by Union Pacific Railroad. Previously, the locomotives were approved to operate at a 5 percent biodiesel blend (photo courtesy Union Pacific).

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation, and connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain.

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 by 26 percent by 2030. We continue to identify opportunities to increase low carbon fuel usage in our locomotives and appreciate Progress Rail’s partnership in our efforts, said Union Pacific EVP and Chief Human Resource Officer Beth Whited, who oversees the railroad’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) related efforts.

The updated fuel recommendation comes after testing high-horsepower locomotives, used for hauling freight long distances, and monitoring performance for things such as fuel consumption, as well as the impact on engine oil and fuel filters. Progress Rail is currently undergoing additional testing and development.

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, commented Marty Haycraft, President and CEO of Progress Rail.

Union Pacific and Progress Rail’s efforts can also help partners reduce their own environmental footprint. 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.

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