CN and Progress Rail today announced they're partnering with Renewable Energy Group (REG) to test high-level renewable fuel blends, including both biodiesel and renewable diesel. Trials and qualifications of up to 100% bio-based diesel fuel are important steps in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CN’s existing locomotive fleet, while alternative propulsion locomotive technologies are being developed, CN and Progress Rail officials said in a joint press release. The program will allow CN and Progress Rail to better understand the long-term durability and operational impacts of renewable fuels on locomotives, especially in cold weather, and plan needed modifications to fully leverage their usage over the next decade, they said. Rail has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of transportation services, as shipping heavy freight by rail can reduce carbon emissions by up to 75% when compared to trucks. Looking to 2030 and beyond, reducing fossil carbon emissions associated with rail transportation will continue to require innovative fuel-efficient technologies, the greater use of cleaner sustainable fuels and designing innovative low emission supply chain solutions through investments and collaboration, they added.
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