SOURCE: BNSF Railway Company

May 04, 2007 18:13 ET

BNSF Debuts Natural Gas Hostler Trucks to Reduce Emissions at Nation's Busiest Rail Intermodal Facility

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 4, 2007 -- BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced a continuation of its efforts to reduce emissions in Southern California by implementing the use of low-emissions natural gas hostler trucks to move containers at its Los Angeles Hobart Intermodal Facility, the nation's busiest rail intermodal terminal. This 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.

These hostlers are the latest green technology to be incorporated into BNSF's equipment portfolio. The natural gas hostlers will reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions by 90 percent compared to standard off-road diesel tractors and represent another important milestone in BNSF's efforts to further 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 Angeles basin by testing environmentally friendly technology as it becomes available," said Mark Stehly, assistant vice president, environment and research development for BNSF. "This pilot is an extension of our commitment to improving air quality in Southern California."

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.

"We have chosen Clean Energy to supply us with liquefied natural gas to operate the vehicles," said David Budig, vice president for Parsec. "This is the first step toward phasing out the diesel hostlers and switching to all natural gas yard tractors."

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.

Natural gas vehicles typically use either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, such as the hostler, have weight and range requirements and typically use LNG because it allows them to store more fuel on board with less tank weight.

In Los Angeles, BNSF operates the only four LNG-powered switch engines in existence in the United States and a battery-powered switch engine known as the "Green Goat." BNSF will continue to test and use new clean energy technology as it becomes available as part of the company's commitment to clean air and protecting the quality of life for local communities and neighborhoods.

A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (NYSE: BNI), BNSF Railway Company operates one of the largest North American rail networks, with about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is among the world's top transporters of intermodal traffic, moves more grain than any other American railroad, carries the components of many of the products we depend on daily, and hauls enough low-sulphur coal to generate about ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States. BNSF is an industry leader in Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at More information about BNSF's Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) can be found at

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