On the Fast Track – The Signal – 4/30

Subject: On the Fast Track – The Signal – 4/30


A chorus of voices called on the EPA to deny CARB’s proposed locomotive regulation.

The AAR recently submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to reject an authorization request from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The rule bans the operation of any locomotive that is 23 years or older from operating in California starting in 2030 — prematurely retiring viable locomotives that help make rail the most fuel efficient way to move goods over land.

Starting in 2030 for switch, industrial, and passenger locomotives — and 2035 for line haul locomotives — new locomotives can only operate in the state if they are “zero-emissions locomotives.”

AAR argues the regulation is infeasible and will yield counterproductive environmental results while disrupting the interconnected nature of the national freight rail network.

“Railroads continue to invest billions to reduce their environmental impact, a major reason why carriers contribute less than one percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “Yet California insists on using unreasonable, flawed assumptions to support a rule that will not result in emissions reductions.”

A wide range of industries, legislators, and experts have also voiced opposition to the regulation, citing concerns about its economic impact, job loss and its adverse effects on various sectors of the economy. These voices include organized labor, environmental advocates, agricultural organizations and myriad industries that rely on rail to keep the economy moving, from manufacturing to food and beverage.

A Deeper Dive on MxV Rail

MxV Rail is the world’s premier rail research advisory. Watch President & CEO, Kari Gonzales, talk about how MxV Rail fosters a safer and more efficient rail network. 👇

Innovation Spotlight

Fast tracking to safer operations.

Each year through AAR’s Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) program, America’s freight railroads jointly fund dozens of research projects to drive innovation and enhance operational efficiency, safety and sustainability. Central to SRI’s mission is the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST®) Loop at the MxV Rail research complex in Pueblo, CO.

This state-of-the-art, 2.8-miletrack loop offers a controlled real-world environment for testing heavy-axle-load freight rail components and technologies. Attendees of the 29thAnnual AAR Research Review recently witnessed the significant contributions of FAST to evaluate and refine innovative technologies.

Railroad 101

5 Fast Facts for #RailDay2024

Next Wednesday, the annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill will bring together short lines and Class I railroads to emphasize the critical role that freight rail plays in our economy. To provide insight, here are five essential facts to consider. For more facts, explore our comprehensive Railroad 101 webpage.

Trains move electronics, food, cars, clothing, energy products and more.

The train accident rate is down 27% since 2000.

Freight rail is 3-4x more fuel-efficient than trucks and railroads are working to develop lower and ultimately zero-emission technologies.

The average freight rail employee earns 52% more than the average U.S. employee.

Train inspection portals capture 40,000 images per second of trains passing by at 60 MPH.