Analysis of Railroad Energy Efficiency in the United States

The purpose of this study is to provide information about railroad fuel efficiency that may be useful in evaluating transportation energy policies and assessing the sustainability of potential projects. The specific objectives are to: (1) develop railroad energy efficiency models that describe differences in fuel economy among classes of trains and commodities; (2) apply these models to a wide range of movements to estimate fuel efficiency ratings for coal, grain, iron ore, food products, and other key commodities; (3) develop comparable procedures for estimating truck and waterway fuel consumption; and (4) compare rail, truck, and waterway energy efficiencies. The focus on railroads in this study is appropriate, because many of the alternatives to highway investment involve railroad transportation or multimodal options.

  • Record URL:
  • Summary URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    P.O. Box 6050, Department 2880
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

    North Dakota State University
    1320 Albrecht Blvd
    Fargo, ND  United States  58105

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Tolliver, Denver
    • Lu, Pan
    • Benson, Douglas
  • Publication Date: 2013-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 81p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01481004
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-250, 337
  • Created Date: May 7 2013 11:42AM