|BNSF/Parsec LNG hostler trucks.|
BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has begun using low-emissions liquefied natural gas (LNG) hostler trucks to move containers at its Los Angeles Hobart Intermodal Facility, the busiest rail intermodal terminal in the US.
This use of LNG hostler trucks is part of a pilot program to test the vehicles for future use at select intermodal facilities, including the proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) facility.
The natural gas hostlers, built by Kalmar Industries, will reduce NOx and PM emissions by 90% compared to standard off-road diesel tractors and represent another element in BNSF’s efforts to enhance the environmental advantages of rail transportation.
Rail transportation continues to be one of the greenest ways to move freight and BNSF is committed to lowering emissions and improving air quality in the Los Angles basin by testing environmentally friendly technology as it becomes available. This pilot is an extension of our commitment to improving air quality in Southern California.—Mark Stehly, assistant vice president, environment and research development for BNSF
Parsec Inc., BNSF’s intermodal contract operator that oversees the day-to-day operations of Hobart, selected Clean Energy Inc. to provide the LNG for the hostlers.
Parsec acquired the 10 natural gas hostlers to operate at BNSF’s Hobart Yard in Commerce as part of a pilot program funded through a grant from the California Air Resources Board. The Carl Moyer Program provides grants to companies dedicated to using clean energy vehicles. On average, a natural gas-powered hostler costs approximately $49,000 more than one that runs on diesel fuel.
In Los Angeles, BNSF operates the only four LNG-powered switch engines in existence in the United States and a hybrid Green Goat switch engine. (Earlier post.)
BNSF is also currently using an LNG-fueled yard hostler at the Oakland International Gateway in Northern California. In 2006, VA Trucking acquired six LNG-fueled trucks to haul containers between the Port of Oakland’s marine terminals and Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s (BNSF) rail yard at the Oakland International Gateway.