Union Pacific and Shell sign agreement on green initiatives

Union Pacific and energy producer Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding that could help both companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eventually reach their goal of zero emissions by 2050.

UP (NYSE: UNP ) also says it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030.

Areas in which the two companies plan to work together include:

  • Increasing the number of biofuel and renewable fuel mixtures in locomotives.
  • Exploring the use of renewable energy sources in vehicles and facilities.
  • Processing of used railway sleepers into bio-raw material.
  • Research on alternative locomotive propulsion systems.
  • Exploring energy efficiency using Shell’s remote oil performance monitoring technology pilot.

“We are very excited to begin an exciting new phase in our relationship that explores research and development and pushes us to try things that can have a significant impact on Union Pacific’s efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Beth Whited, U a statement from UP’s Executive Vice President for Sustainability and Strategy. “While rail is already one of the most environmentally responsible ways to move freight, locomotive technology needs to evolve and we need partners like Shell who can help the whole industry think about the future in new ways.”

Carlos Maurer, Shell’s (NYSE: SHEL) executive vice president for sectors and decarbonization. said: “This new relationship with Union Pacific has the potential to unlock unique synergies in low carbon product development. We are excited to see what new solutions are emerging that could decarbonise the rail sector.”

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A Chicago railroad bridge rehabilitation project has received $70 million in federal funding

A 2-mile stretch of railroad tracks in Chicago will be upgraded to ease the flow of freight rail through the region thanks to a $70 million federal grant.

The project is being managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Area Neighborhood and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, a public-private partnership between six Class I railroads, passenger rail, state and local governments.

The project involves upgrading the Westside Gateway, Ogden Junction, which is also known as WA1. The project involves the repair, replacement or elimination of 16 railway bridges, many of which are more than 100 years old, according to CREATE.

These bridges are located on the Union Pacific Rockwell Line, which runs along Rockwell Avenue between Fulton and 16th Streets. The viaducts under the bridges, which are about the same age as the bridges, will also be repaired and repainted, according to CREATE. Some viaducts will also be raised in height.

The federal funding came from the US Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program, commonly known as the INFRA grant program.

The Chicago region is important to rail freight because it to serve as a major interchange between eastern and western US railroads. The region has historically been prone to delays, due in part to seasonal weather conditions, the volume of traffic that passes through the region, and limited land resources available for transportation service.

The bridge replacement project is part of the larger CREATE project, which also involves replacing, rehabilitating, removing or upgrading signaling along the 2-mile stretch, as well as building 10,000 feet of new track. The total cost of the project is $170 million.

Signal upgrades include installing a two-way computerized traffic control system on the 2-mile stretch, as well as converting seven manual switches to power switches. The new checkpoints in the zone will also allow simultaneous movements between UP (NYSE: UNP ), CSX (NASDAQ: CSX ) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC ), while providing more efficient and safer operating speeds, according to CREATE.

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The Institute of Railway Supply and Canadian and European colleagues entered into a pact

The American Rail Safety Institute (RSI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Canadian and European counterparts to promote cooperation between rail safety industry organizations.

The Canadian Association of Rail Suppliers (CARS) and the European Rail Supply Association are affiliated organizations of RSI.

A joint release this week said the Memorandum of Understanding will allow the three organizations to collaborate in several areas, including public procurement, global standards and skills. According to them, the cooperation will help strengthen the health and future of the industry.

“The rail transport industry in Canada, the United States and Europe is a strategic manufacturing sector. Currently, significant investment in rail projects is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic. This memorandum further solidifies the recognition that rail is the most environmentally friendly and safest means of moving both people and freight,” said CARS President Sylvia Newell in a press release.

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