PSAP: Environment

PSAP is an eco-friendly shipping solution for businesses small and large. Think of it like public transit, but for hauling goods. A bus can carry a group of people around town using less fuel than if they all drove their own cars. Similarly, trains can carry the valuable commodities that Washingtonians buy and sell, and they do it with less fuel than trucks. With a single gallon of fuel, railroads can move one ton of goods for 473 miles—on average, four times more efficient than trucks.

PSAP is constantly upgrading its systems with the newest technological innovations, which is good news for the environment. For example, improved rail lubrication reduces friction in the wheel-rail interface, saving fuel and reducing wear and tear on track and locomotives. New, highly advanced computer software systems can calculate the most fuel-efficient speed for a train over a given route, determine the most efficient spacing and timing of trains on a railroad’s system and monitor locomotive functions and performance to ensure peak efficiency.

Thanks to railroads’ investment in fuel-efficient technology, rail freight volume is nearly double what it was in 1980, while railroads’ fuel consumption remains relatively flat. That means that moving freight by rail instead of trucks reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 75 percent. If just 10 percent of long-distance freight moved by truck traveled by rail instead, greenhouse gas emissions would fall by approximately 11 million tons.

The average freight train carries almost 3,500 tons of freight today, up from 2,222 tons in 1980, 2,755 tons in 1990 and 2,923 tons in 2000. Fuel consumption has remained flat.