Most railroads have shown a reluctance to use a biodiesel blend in their locomotives, but the Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad has decided to test the concept this summer.
The first biodiesel blend train pulled out of Creston last week, hauling 52 cars of wheat and 500 gallons of biodiesel in the locomotives saddlebag tanks. Officials are using a 25 percent blend of biodiesel in the tests.
The fuel is made by Columbia Bioenergy, located in Creston, which uses canola oil, restaurant grease, soy and other crops as feedstock.
The short-line railroad, which runs 109 miles between Cheney and Coulee City, Washington, plans to evaluate the experiment in about three months. Columbia Bioenergy is trying to determine if there is a market for biodiesel in locomotives.
The company produces 20,000 gallons of biodiesel a day and a byproduct of the process, glycerine which is being used for livestock feed. Graff Lyons, co-owner of the firm, said several governments and companies around the Northwest that have fleets of vehicles, use their product.
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Image Source: EWGRR