Union Pacific Railroad Co. has long prided itself on its ability to keep produce fresh by keeping it secured in a refrigerated environment. Now, the company is taking pride in doing something good for the environment in general.
Union Pacific has installed new Tier IVi diesel refrigeration units on more than 700 of its boxcars in the first half of 2009 and has announced that all 4,950 of its refrigerated railcars meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards that take effect July 17.
Tom Lange, director of corporate communications for Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific, said the additions of the Tier IVi units will ensure that the refrigeration cars remain in compliance for future CARB standards.
The company has invested about $18 million in its refrigerated boxcars, Lange said.
“These refrigerated boxcars move all over the United States, matching major western U.S. production areas to provide perishable freight to large population centers, specifically in the East and South,” said Lange.
Commodities the line has shipped include potatoes, onions and citrus, he said.
“On a rolling 12-month basis, we have moved more than 46,000 units or more than 2.8 million tons,” he said. “For the month of April 2009, we moved more than 4,100 units or more than 251,000 tons.”
Lange is not related to, or affiliated with, the Springfield, Ill.-based Tom Lange Co. Inc.
Now, the newly fitted Union Pacific refrigerated boxcars, which also include global positioning satellite monitoring to track trip progress, temperature sensors and fresh-air exchange equipment, will haul that freight in a more environmentally friendly manner.
“A train of 100 of our 64-foot refrigerated boxcars takes the equivalent of 350-400 trucks off America’s congested highways, which also reduces emissions because rail is almost four times more fuel efficient than trucks,” Lori Loschen, senior business director, agricultural products, for Union Pacific, said in a release.