BNSF | Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Efficiency

Railroads are the most fuel-efficient mode of surface transportation. Steel wheels moving on steel rails, combined with the lower aerodynamic drag of a single train pulling hundreds of loads of freight, provide advantages for rail over long-haul trucking. In fact, rail is more than three times as fuel efficient as long-haul trucks.

Because railroads run on diesel fuel, the pursuit of energy efficiency is one of our top priorties to reduce both our environmental impact and our operating costs.

Improvements in operating and maintenance practices have had a substantial impact on our fuel efficiency.

It starts with our machinists who properly maintain our locomotives and railcars, keeping them in top condition. Our engineering team also lubricates rails, reducing the friction between the wheels and the rails. Additionally, our locomotive engineers are trained to shut down idling or unneeded locomotives and pace trains by adjusting acceleration and braking to conserve fuel.