Aerodynamic Technology for Double-Stack Intermodal Freight Trains
Union Pacific, Omaha, Neb., unveiled its Arrowedge production version, piloting the employee-designed aerodynamic technology for fuel and locomotive emissions reductions on double-stack intermodal freight trains.
"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," says Mike Iden, 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 front-most 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 U.S. 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.