By its very nature, rail is the most fuel- and resource-efficient land transportation method available for moving goods long distances. Efficiency is a core value and an integral part of BNSF’s identity and we constantly strive to increase the efficiency of our network to support the economy.

Rail’s inherent efficiencies generate value for our customers and communities by reducing transportation emissions and carbon footprints, increasing safety for local communities and driving growth and economic value for our customers. Increasing efficiencies of BNSF’s trains also improves our cost structure and maintains our competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Four key factors contribute to rail’s increased efficiency over other forms of land transportation. BNSF builds upon these further by adopting new technology, implementing and improving work practices and enhancing the efficiency of our trains.

  • Energy-Efficient Engines: Diesel electric locomotives—a string of locomotives pulling a train that use a combination of diesel combustion engines and electric traction motors—decrease fuel use.
  • Reduced Rolling Friction: Trains’ steel wheels running on steel tracks create less rolling resistance than other forms of land transportation.
  • Dedicated Right of Ways: Allow trains to move continuously without frequent stops, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.
  • Horsepower per Ton Optimization: BNSF optimizes the number of locomotives on each train based on the weight of the trailing freight, reducing unnecessary horsepower to improve the fuel efficiency of each train.