Norfolk Southern, EMD to test biodiesel as locomotive fuel

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) and Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. (EMD) are partnering to test biodiesel for locomotive fuel applications.

Under “one of the most extensive testing programs to date on the use of biodiesel fuel for locomotives,” eight SD70M-2 units and two MP15 switchers manufactured by EMD and owned/operated by NS will be used during the testing phase, according to the railroad and locomotive builder.

The locomotives will run in regular service for nine to 11 months under various operating and environmental conditions. NS and EMD then will evaluate the test units and components to determine emissions, fuel consumption, performance and durability. Biodiesel has been shown to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, such as hydrocarbons and particulate matter, and eliminate sulfur oxide and sulfate from exhaust emissions, according to EMD.

“Our work with EMD will hopefully result in an environmentally sensitive, domestically produced fuel option for the rail industry,” said Blair Wimbush, NS’ vice president of real estate and corporate sustainability officer, in a prepared statement.

Source: Progressive Railroading


The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of seven state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The National Grain and Feed Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association serve as ex-officio members of the organization.