|The Rail Runner commuter train runs every weekday.|
New Mexico’s new Rail Runner commuter train will use a B20 blend of biodiesel supplied by Amigo Petroleum, beginning immediately. The Rail Runner is one of the first commuter rail systems in the country to use biodiesel.
The Rail Runner’s five locomotives are diesel-electric MP36PH-3Cs built by Motive Power Inc. in Boise, Idaho. Rail Runner locomotives produce about 3,600 horsepower and are capable of running speeds in excess of 100 mph.
The Rail Runner Express, which began operation two weeks ago, is currently operating only between Albuquerque and Bernalillo, a distance of about 20 miles. Eventually, it will run between Belen, south of Albuquerque, to Santa Fe.
Separately, in India, New Kerala reports that the South East Central Railway (SECR) has testing a B5 blend of jatropha biodiesel to run some of its trains. The SECR bought 800 liters (211 gallons) of jatropha biodiesel from the Chhattisgarh government this month for the experiment.
The Chhattisgarh government, which is promoting jatropha plantations in all 16 districts, has set up a jatropha biodiesel plant near Raipur.
“Since July 22, two railway engines on narrow gauges are running with diesel mixed with jatropha bio-fuel. The engines have so far travelled over 500 km without any trouble. Now, we plan to raise the percentage of jatropha to 20 percent,” [Raipur railway division spokesperson Ajay Kumar] Jaiswal told IANS.
After a month, the SECR will try the biodiesel on long distance trains as well.