Social Responsibility

Taking care of the environment

As rail is the most environmentally friendly mode of surface freight transportation, Columbia Basin Railroad, and Central Washington Railroad provide the following environmental benefits in Washington State:

  • Freight trains are more than three times as fuel efficient as trucks.
  • A single freight train can remove 385 trucks from the highways, thus reducing road damage and congestion on our streets and highways.
  • Annually, Temple freight trains divert 62,885 trucks off of Washington State highways, saving taxpayers an estimated $2,746,816 in road damage and repair.
  • Freight trains only produce 1/3 of the greenhouse gas emissions as trucks.
  • Rail decreases pollution, saves energy and reduces congestion all at the same time.
  • According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 1.2 million fewer tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be emitted into the air annually if 1 percent of the long-haul freight now moving by highway shifted to rail.
  • Fuel efficiency for U.S. railroads has increased by 80 percent over the last 25 years. In 1980, a gallon of diesel fuel moved one ton of freight an average of 235 miles. In 2007, the same amount of fuel moved one ton of freight an average of 436 miles.
  • Railroads and rail suppliers have reduced the weight and increased the capacity of rail cars to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The average freight car capacity is now nearly 100 tons, up 17 percent in just the past 20 years.

If 25 percent of truck freight were diverted to rail, by 2025 it would lead to these annual savings:

  • 30 million fewer tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • A savings of 2.8 billion gallons of fuel
  • A savings of 43 hours wasted in congested traffic � more than an entire work week � for every commuter. This translates to 3.6 billion hours for all U.S. commuters.

With the increasing need in the Pacific Northwest (as well as around the world) for transportation options that increase fuel efficiency while reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, the Temples have become leaders in the region in promoting rail freight mobility options that help the environment.

Links to television commercials: