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Northwestern University

LOCOMOTIVES:

LOwering CO2: Models to Optimize Train Infrastructure, Vehicles, and Energy Storage

SPONSOR: ARPA-E
BY: Northwestern University Transportation Center and Argonne National Laboratory
PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATORS: Hani S. Mahmassani, Pablo Durango-Cohen, Amgad Elgowainy (ANL), Yan (Joann) Zhou (ANL)

The transportation sector is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US, with the freight sector showing the greatest challenge to decarbonize. However, recent advances in lower-carbon fuels, battery technologies, and hydrogen fuels have provided viable alternatives to diesel for the traditionally hard-to-decarbonize freight rail industry.

Researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have developed an analytical framework to aid railroads in planning the deployment of alternative locomotive energy technologies across their networks to decarbonize their operations. To make the analysis accessible, a flexible industry-oriented tool has been created that caters to individual user needs and provides insights with respect to costs, emissions, and operational performance metrics for the evaluation of various decarbonization deployment strategies.

This research has been funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a project titled “LOwering CO2: Models to Optimize Train Infrastructure, Vehicles, and Energy Storage (LOCOMOTIVES)” under the US Department of Energy.

The Northwestern University Freight Rail Infrastructure & Energy Network Decarbonization (NUFRIEND) Dashboard is now available for public use on the NUTC website at:  https://nufriend.transportation.northwestern.edu.

Here, users can analyze different decarbonization technologies and deployment strategies on US rail networks to understand the benefits and challenges of freight rail sustainability investments. In addition, NUTC will be publishing a series of informational pieces, titled NUFRIEND Insights, on its website, which break down different problem components in greater depth.

 

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