BNSF's Wide-span Electric Cranes Reduce Emissions, Improve Operations
BNSF Railway’s Logistics Parks Kansas City (LPKC) Intermodal Facility opened last month featuring state-of-the-art energy and environmental technology including five all-electric wide-span cranes. LPKC, along with two other BNSF intermodal facilities, utilizes wide-span electric cranes as a means of efficiently handling containers while reducing on-site emissions.
In 2007, BNSF became the first U.S. rail carrier to deploy the use of wide-span electric cranes at its Seattle International Gateway Intermodal Facility. BNSF installed wide-span electric cranes at its new Memphis Intermodal Facility which opened in 2009 and most recently at LPKC. BNSF also plans to use the all-electric cranes at its new Southern California International Gateway Intermodal Facility near the ports of L.A. and Long Beach.
Wide-span electric cranes produce zero emissions on-site. Not only do the cranes eliminate on-site carbon emissions, but the electric motors reduce ambient noise and built-in directional lighting cuts down on light pollution. The cranes also generate electricity while they work; much like the regenerative braking system in electric vehicles, the cranes recharge their internal batteries each time they lower a load.
Wide-span electric cranes significantly reduce the number of diesel trucks (hostlers) needed to move containers within the Intermodal facility. Each double cantilever crane is 90 ft. high and has a base that is 276 ft. across. They can rotate a container 270 degrees and lift up to 80,000 lbs. This versatility eliminates the need for as many as six hostler trucks per crane.
“Not only do BNSF wide-span electric cranes reduce carbon emissions, but they increase facility throughput,” said BNSF Program Manager, Business Unit Operations Jim FitzGerald. “The intermodal business is highly time sensitive; when we can send freight through our facility faster while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint, that’s a no-brainer.”
For more information on BNSF’s green technology efforts visit http://www.bnsf.com/communities/bnsf-and-the-environment/green-technology/.