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all aboard! partners on track with renewables for rail sector

2 min read | june 15, 2023

Railroads are part of the foundation of American commerce. While they are the most fuel-efficient way to transport goods and products on the ground, they are also a source of carbon emissions. We’re working on that though.

Chevron is collaborating with Union Pacific Railroad, one of the largest railroad companies in the United States, to reduce carbon emissions by using renewable diesel and biodiesel in locomotives.

the details

Union Pacific intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030. To meet that goal, the company plans to increase the use of renewable fuels across its fleet.

“We have some very aggressive goals to cut our emissions,” said Jeff Glasgow, Union Pacific’s general director of fuel procurement. “Biofuels are going to be critical for us in achieving them.”

Last year, Union Pacific began using 100% renewable fuels from Chevron in four locomotives at its yard in Colton, California. Over the next several years, the rail company plans to continue testing the performance of our UltraClean BlenD™, a proprietary blend of biodiesel and renewable diesel resulting in a 100% renewable fuel.

the impact

A single Union Pacific train can carry as much freight as approximately 300 trucks. One locomotive can move one ton of freight more than 450 miles on just one gallon of diesel fuel, making locomotives four times more efficient than trucks.

Union Pacific operates roughly 8,300 locomotives and:

  • Covers a rail network of over 32,200 route miles.
  • Connects 23 states by rail in the western two-thirds of the country.
  • Purchases more than 900 million gallons of diesel per year.

“We move everything in your life,” said Thad Call, Union Pacific’s general director of sustainability. “Whatever it is, part of it has had a trip on a train.”

the fuel

Renewable fuels can be made from resources like vegetable oils and animal fats. These fuels can be used as an alternative to petroleum-based diesel, and they emit fewer emissions when used in a diesel engine.

“We are really excited about the possibility of using biodiesel and renewable diesel in order to help us achieve our emissions targets,” said Call.

“This is essentially drop-in technology that we can begin to use right away.”

thad call

union pacific’s general director of sustainability

a collaborative effort

Some Chevron facilities operate on a Union Pacific line. For years, the railroad company has been transporting our products—now our fuel is being used in Union Pacific’s locomotives.

This benefits both companies. Union Pacific is reducing the lifecycle carbon intensity of its fleet, and Chevron is increasing its renewables production capacity and reaching new customers working toward a lower carbon future.

more on that

In addition to our work with Union Pacific, Chevron collaborates with other transportation companies, utilities and government agencies to provide the use of renewable fuels.

In June 2022, we became a leading U.S. renewable fuels company when we completed our acquisition of Renewable Energy Group.

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