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Rail Profits Soar While Locomotives Idle

by on August 7, 2010

$534 million. That’s a whopping 38% increase in profit that CN Rail has posted – just for the 2nd quarter of 2010.

CP Rail’s 2nd quarter earnings totaled $166.6 million, up a full 23% over the same quarter of last year.

So, CN and CP, here’s a suggestion of what to do with a relatively small portion of that profit: upgrade your entire fleet of diesel locomotives to include year-round idle reduction technology.

Yes, we realize you are buying lots of new locomotives, complete with all the bells and whistles, (literally) but let’s talk about all the soot-covered ones that don’t appear in your PR material without any such idle reduction features in place…these must surely be part of what, refers to on its FAQ’s page that “locomotives idle approximately 50% of the time that they are running”.

The devil is in the details they say, and, to this issue, there seems to be no exception.

CP Rail indicates that 80% of its locomotive fleet have “some form of anti-idling device which, under certain conditions, will shut down locomotives instead of letting them idle”.

Would one of those “certain conditions” when they are left to idle be, basically, most of the entire winter?

CN states that currently “over 50%” of its switcher fleet in its operations have been retrofitted to employ some aspect of idle reduction technology.

What about the other 50%?

Are these the ones that people living in around facilities listen to, hour upon hour, breathing in diesel fumes, for extended lengths of time during the year?

“It’s not easy being green” said a famous character once, but with profits of this magnitude, do some good with it for the sake of the environment, to improve your relationships with neighbouring communities, and to cut fuel consumption and costs, which will, in the end, help keep that smile on your shareholder’s faces.

© Copyright 2010


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