Refrigerated rail boxcars that carry fresh produce, dairy and meats are getting a greener look at Union Pacific, which has invested $18 million in the past two years to bring its nearly 5,000 refrigerated boxcars into compliance with California Air Resource Board standards that take effect July 17.
Improvements include new Tier IVi diesel refrigeration units on more than 700 boxcars in the first half of 2009, according to a press release. The units will reduce diesel particulate emissions by 50 percent over the previous refrigeration unit, Union Pacific said.
A train of 100 of Union Pacific’s 64-foot refrigerated boxcars takes the equivalent of 350 to 400 trucks off America’s congested highways, said Lori Loschen, Senior Business Director of Agricultural Products at Union Pacific.
The boxcars utilize global positioning satellite monitoring to track trip progress, temperature sensors and fresh-air exchange equipment.
On a rolling 12-month basis, the refrigerated boxcars have moved more than 46,000 units or more than 2.8 million tons of fresh produce, Tom Lange, Director of Corporate Communications for Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific, told The Packer.