NS and CSX work to reduce CO2 emissions from locomotives

NORTH American Class Is Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX Transportation are making progress toward meeting their greenhouse gas emissions targets, according to their latest sustainability reports.

Nova Scotia operates 31,000 kilometers of road in 22 states and Washington DC and seeks to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 42% by 2034.

Scope 1 emissions are those that originate from sources controlled or owned by an organization, such as the combustion of fuel by diesel locomotives, while Scope 2 emissions are indirect and relate to emissions associated with purchase of electricity as well as heating and cooling.

Some of the steps NS has taken to reduce emissions include: upgrading over 100 locomotives each year, a program launched in 2016 that aims to upgrade 950 locomotives by 2035; and equipping 93% of its active locomotive fleet, or 1,550 locomotives, with energy management technology.

NS has also installed distributed power systems on a further 120 locomotives so that they can be positioned in the middle or at the end of trains rather than just at the front, helping to reduce physical forces on the carriages. It has used data to identify and eliminate more than 2,000 hours of engine idling per day, saving more than 11.8 million liters of fuel per year, and uses biofuel blends to reduce carbon intensity.

Nova Scotia says it has also improved locomotive fuel efficiency by 7% since 2019; diverted more than half of its waste from landfills; recovered more than 1.6 million gallons of used oil; tracked and managed over 4,500 service provider waste and recycling events; recycled 100% of the rails replaced by new rails themselves made of 70% recycled materials; and recycled 100% of its old sleepers and 100% of the steel.

The railroad’s other sustainability initiatives over the past two years include a next-generation carbon calculator that helps determine a shipment’s carbon footprint and a partnership with U.S. railcar manufacturer Greenbrier to produce a railcar more durable gondola for transporting loose bulk materials.

NS says these collaborations are central to its sustainability strategy. “We know it will take a collaborative effort to achieve the environmental goals required to protect our planet for future generations,” said Mr. Josh Raglin, Norfolk Southern’s Director of Sustainability. “The more companies work together on their supply chain, the faster we can make measurable progress.”


CSX – which currently operates nearly 31,300 km of road which will increase to 33,700 km of road in 26 states after buying branch line operator Pan Am Systems earlier this year – says it has been working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37.3% by 2030, using 2014 as the emissions benchmark.

Between 2014 and 2021, CSX has achieved 42% of this goal by reducing emissions by 15.6% and improving energy efficiency by 15.34%.

CSX is also working to reduce emissions from its locomotives and is evaluating new locomotive fuel technologies among other initiatives to increase sustainability and promote recycling.

Other initiatives include evaluating new locomotive fuel technologies and developing operational efficiencies. CSX is also testing hybrid locomotives and the use of biofuels such as B20 and possibly liquefied natural gas. The company says it is working on a concept that would use compressed natural gas to power a generator which in turn would power the locomotives.

Additionally, a “Meet Pass Planner” program aims to reduce delays where trains have to wait while they are scheduled to meet at passing loops, while optimizing train routing and performance.

Another of CSX’s goals is to increase its use of renewable energy to 50% of its Scope 2 footprint through energy audits, energy efficiency retrofits, renewable energy consumption and partnerships. CSX has entered into community solar agreements and purchases renewable energy credits and finds power purchase agreements to promote sustainability. It also plans to reduce hazardous waste from its ongoing operations by 30% and reduce landfill waste to less than 10% of total volumes.

Other CSX initiatives are recycling more than 9 million liters of waste oil from locomotives and other equipment, inventing an innovative method of reusing sleepers by chipping them for use as an alternative fuel or repurposing them as firewood. work, and manage the recycling of computers, monitors, modems, mobile devices and servers – equipment in good condition is reused while obsolete equipment is broken down and recycled.

“By continuing to invest in our people and communities, innovating to introduce new environmental solutions, and expanding our network capacity and service offerings, we have positioned CSX to accelerate the conversion of freight from highway to rail while adding to a strong operating base that will support CSX’s future growth and our ability to create sustainable value for our stakeholders,” said Mr. James M Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX.

Maria D. Ervin