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Ports Initiative

Rail and Locomotives Best Practices

Locomotive at a port locationIdle reduction technologies not only reduce emissions but also save fuel.Throughout history, rail has served an efficient and reliable role in the movement of freight across the U.S. Some ports are switching from trucks to on-dock rail to improve efficiency and reduce congestion at the port.

Reduce idling for rail switchers

The fuel savings associated with some idle reduction technologies can actually pay for the system and save money in the near and long term. EPA's SmartWay program maintains a list of verified idle reduction technologies.

Retrofit rail yard equipment and switchers

Switcher locomotives often have older, high emitting engines and their terminals are typically located near residential neighborhoods. Due to the nature of their business, these locomotives often operate long hours.

Installation of emission reduction devices or engine replacements which have been tested and verified are cost-effective solutions that yield substantial emission reductions. See EPA’s Clean Diesel Technology pages to learn more about available options.

For information on retrofit projects for locomotives and switchers visit Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission: Diesel Retrofit Projects.