OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Union Pacific unveiled in August its Arrowedge® production version, piloting the employee-designed aerodynamic technology for fuel and locomotive emissions reductions on double-stack intermodal freight trains. Years in development, the Arrowedge® is the latest innovation in Union Pacific's ongoing commitment to design, build and implement fuel-saving technologies.
"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, Union Pacific general director-car and locomotive engineering. "We are excited to see the results of this innovation in action and how it can springboard further research and development."A double-stack intermodal train accommodates freight containers placed two high, one on top of the other, for better ride quality and rail car utilization. Positioned on top of the first freight container, the 48-foot Arrowedge® has a tapered body that allows air to more easily flow around the train's top frontmost containers. This reduces aerodynamic drag for more efficient transport of customers' goods. In addition, drag reductions decrease the amount of locomotive power required to propel the train. Union Pacific holds two United States 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., this month. Trains are the most fuel-efficient way to transport bulk cargo on land. A single Union Pacific train can replace 300 trucks, decreasing emissions and reducing stress on the nation's deteriorating road and bridge infrastructure. Union Pacific can move one ton of freight 480 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel, the equivalent of a standard mid-size car getting roughly 200 miles per gallon.