High-Speed Midwest Train Looks to Run on Biodiesel

John Davis

A new high-speed passenger train between Chicago and Iowa City could end up running on biodiesel.

Medill Reports Chicago has this piece on a high-speed rail line that the Iowa and Illinois departments of transportation just received $230 million to build, part of the federal government’s $8 billion plan to modernize the rail system with nine high speed rail lines connecting major cities in California, Florida, Ohio, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast:

The new line [between Iowa city and Chicago] will be called the ‘green’ line for all of the environmentally friendly initiatives that will be incorporated into the train line, including onboard recycling. Biodiesel fuel, made from vegetable oil will power the trains, and soy-based lubricants will be used on the locomotives, according to Mike Murray, transportation policy advisor to [Illinois] Governor Quinn.

“We’re hoping to get to 20 percent biodiesel used on the locomotives. And it’s something that can come from Illinois. Part of it has to do with being green, but part of it has to do with building a rail project that creates jobs here,” Murray said.

Right now, Amtrak is currently testing biodiesel on its Oklahoma City-Fort Worth, Texas route.

Biodiesel, Government