Union Pacific has unveiled Arrowedge, a new employee-designed, pilot technology aimed at reducing fuel and locomotive emissions on double-stack intermodal freight trains.
Positioned on top of the first freight container, the 48-foot Arrowedge has a tapered body that allows air to flow more easily around the train’s top front-most containers, thereby reducing aerodynamic drag. In turn, drag reductions decrease the amount of locomotive power required to propel the train.
“The Arrowedge represents Union Pacific’s focus on pioneering technology for operational and environmentally sustainable gains that ultimately result in enhanced customer service and community stewardship,” said Mike Iden, general director of the Class I railroad’s car and locomotive engineering unit, in a written statement. “We are excited to see the results of this innovation in action and how it can springboard further research and development.”
UP holds two U.S. patents for the Arrowedge, with additional U.S. and Canadian patents pending. The company expects to introduce the technology into double-stack train service between Joliet, Ill., and Long Beach, Calif., in September.