First fully battery-electric line-haul loco begins testing on BNSF between Stockton and Barstow

The below Jan. 4, 2021 news release is from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. BNSF Railway Company … and Wabtec’s … exploration of the future potential of battery-electric locomotives crosses another significant milestone this week as they begin testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California. As BNSF seeks ways to further … Read more

Leading by example: California shows continued, strong commitment to state emissions reduction

California can be credited with many air-quality-improvement firsts. Listed among these is a waiver granted by the fed that allowed the state to establish its own more stringent light-duty vehicle tailpipe-emissions standards, that is, apart from those prescribed for the rest of the U.S. In an Oct. 19, 2020 news release, meanwhile, the California Environmental … Read more

‘Scorecard’ highlights building, transportation energy efficiency progress in 100 large U.S. cities in 2020

It is no secret that all across the world in the past couple of decades the area of clean energy has experienced leaps-and-bounds growth. One organization, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), annually compiles what it calls a “City Clean Energy Scorecard.” The ACEEE in “Scorecard: Leading U.S. Cities Grow Clean Energy Efforts … Read more

Report findings: States committed to meeting 2030 climate goals ‘off track’

The below Dec. 8, 2020 press release is from the Environmental Defense Fund. A new report from Environmental Defense Fund using emissions data from Rhodium Group finds that U.S. states with climate commitments are not on track to bring their emissions down consistent with science-based trajectories for 2030. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate … Read more

Montgomery County, MD releases action-plan-draft for meeting climate goals

The below Dec. 14, 2020 press release is from Montgomery County (Maryland) Government. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the Draft Climate Action Plan for public review. The Climate Action Plan is the County’s strategic plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035. [Note: … Read more

Autonomobility: Not quite ‘there’ yet

Even with some 40 years of accumulated road-testing time, there are issues still to be worked out before we can even think about autonomous vehicles gaining full-on, full-tilt access to the road more traveled, let alone the less-traveled one. A number of said vehicles, operationally speaking, have the necessary “stuff” to enable them access to … Read more

Calif. high-speed rail: Recognized for sustainability efforts, receives award

The below Dec. 8, 2020 news release is from the California High-Speed Rail Authority. California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced today it has received national recognition with the Envision Platinum rating for its sustainability efforts. The Envision Platinum rating is the highest-level award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, and the award is the first … Read more

A story of two technologies – Part 3: With a keen eye on surface-travel’s future

An internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine. And like any working physical object it has limitations. Fact is, whether fueled by gasoline, kerosene, alcohol, ethanol, waste vegetable oil, natural gas (be it natural, renewable, compressed, liquefied) or even propane, these engines pollute. And as long as they are … Read more

Under the (car) hood – Part 2: Inroads made and then some

By the time the railroad had arrived on the scene, the seeds of what was known as the wagon road had already been firmly sowed. However advanced the state of the latter was, it had become patently obvious that this pathway for transport just didn’t measure up and something more resilient, more durable and way … Read more

Reflections on our rail past: Knowing where we’ve been could tell us where we’re going

Today’s biggest driver of air-pollutant emissions is transportation. And undergirding that is unabated population growth. At this juncture, prior to entering a brand new year and a whole new decade, global warming and climate change still remain top-of-mind concerns and for good reason. That the attention being paid to the duo appears to be getting … Read more