CN, Progress Rail, REG Advancing renewable fuels


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William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

REG Madison is a biodiesel production plant located in the town of DeForest, in south-central Wisconsin. The biorefinery produces approximately 20 million gallons of biodiesel per year. The establishment started its activities in 2007.

CN and Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, partner with Renewable Energy Group (REG) “to test high-level renewable fuel blends including both biodiesel and renewable diesel in support of sustainability goals enterprises “.

“Testing and qualifying up to 100% biobased diesel fuel are important steps in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CN’s current locomotive fleet, while alternative propulsion technologies for locomotives are under development, ”CN said. “This program will allow CN and Progress Rail to better understand the long-term sustainability and operational impacts of renewable fuels on locomotives, especially in cold weather, and to plan the modifications necessary to take full advantage of their use over the course of of the next decade. Rail has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of transport services, as transporting heavy goods by rail can reduce carbon emissions by up to 75% compared to trucks. Looking to 2030 and beyond, reducing fossil carbon emissions associated with rail transport will continue to require innovative fuel-efficient technologies, greater use of cleaner, sustainable fuels, and the design of innovative fuel chain solutions. low-emission procurement through investment and collaboration.

“CN is committed to adapting its operations to changing climatic conditions,” said JJ Ruest, President and CEO of CN. “Successful testing and sourcing of renewable fuels is part of a portfolio of initiatives aimed at achieving our science goal 2030. The extent of our ability to fully deploy and implement new technologies will require collaboration between locomotive manufacturers and fuel producers. “

“As part of our commitment to making a significant and positive impact on the environment, Progress Rail offers a wide range of products and services that provide fuel flexibility,” said Marty Haycraft, President and CEO of Progress Rail. “We are proud to partner with CN to help support its sustainability goals, as well as our own. “

“Biodiesel helps reduce fossil carbon emissions, and we are proud to work with CN and Progress Rail on this effort which highlights the potential of our fuels as a sustainable solution for the rail industry,” added REG President and CEO Cynthia ‘CJ. ‘Warner. “Sustainability is a driving force in today’s market, and REG achieves this by converting renewable resources into cleaner fuels, providing sustainable solutions to our forward-looking customers like CN and Progress Rail.

CN’s initiative with Progress Rail and REG builds on the locomotive manufacturer’s approval in August 2021 of a higher biodiesel fuel blend content. Union Pacific’s EMD 710 and 645 series locomotives can now operate with up to 20% biodiesel blend in its units. Previously, the EMD 710 and 645 were approved to operate at 5%.

As part of a related sustainability development, CN acquires a Wabtec FLXdrive battery locomotive.


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