RAC Releases Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Report


Written by

Caroline Worrelleditor-in-chief

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) released its Locomotive Emissions Monitoring (LEM) report on Nov. 3, which found that “Canadian railways’ pioneering investments in fleet renewal, fuel economy, employee training and low carbon fuels drive emissions reductions in the rail sector.

The report, which is the third report released under the 2018-2022 Memorandum of Understanding between the BECAUSE and Transport Canadaprovides an overview of rail performance in 2020, including:

  • Freight and passenger rail traffic.
  • Fuel consumption.
  • Inventory of the locomotive fleet.
  • Data on greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions.

According to the report, despite the various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Canadian railways invested $2.6 billion in new technologies and network improvements.

“The freight rail sector has shown its resilience, effectively managing the uncertainty and volatility presented by the pandemic,” according to the report, which adds that on the passenger side, “despite a significant drop in ridership in 2020, passenger rail maintained essential services. ”

Highlights of the report include:

  • In the first three years (2018-2020) of a five-year memorandum of understanding with the federal government, Class I railways achieved 80.6% of their emissions intensity reduction target .
  • Since 2005, the emissions intensity of freight railways has improved by 25.1%.
  • Since 2005, despite an increase in rail traffic, CAC emissions from Canadian railways have decreased significantly: carbon monoxide (-5.2%), nitrogen oxides (-44.1%), hydrocarbons (-51 .1%), particles (-58.3%), and sulfur dioxide (-99.0%).
  • In 2020, Canadian railways modernized their fleets by adding 46 Tier 4 locomotives and removing 149 locomotives, mostly lower-tier and non-tier. (Higher tier locomotives meet more stringent emission requirements.)
  • 3,109 locomotives (82.8% of the total fleet) are fitted with an anti-idling device.

“This report clearly indicates that Canada’s railways are fully committed to reducing their emissions intensity and are making impressive progress,” said RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau. “Rail is already the greenest way to move goods and people over land, and our railways play a key role in helping Canada meet its international climate commitments and the global zero commitment. net by 2050.”

“Our government is committed to meeting our climate targets, particularly in the transport sector. As one of the cleanest and most efficient modes of transport, rail is a key part of our plan to build a cleaner economy that works for everyone,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.



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