Technical Reports

Amtrak Fuel Consumption Study

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1981
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; John Hitz
SUBJECT: Locomotive Standards (Safety & Noise)
KEYWORDS: Energy conservation, Energy use, Amtrack, Locomotive, Fuel Use
ABSTRACT: This report documents a study of fuel consumption on National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) trains and is part of an effort to determine effective ways of conserving fuel on the Amtrak system. The study was performed by the Transportation Systems Center (TSC) under the sponsorship of the Federal Railroad Administration and in cooperation with Amtrak. A series of 26 test runs were conducted on Amtrak trains operating between Boston, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, to measure fuel consumption, trip time and other fuel-use-related parameters. The test data were analyzed and compared with results of the TSC Train Performance Simulator replicating the same operations. Results of the tests showed that the average fuel consumption for the 157.7 mile trip was 368 gallons and that the average fuel use efficiency was 277 ton-miles per gallon. Fuel consumption and fuel use efficiency were found to increase consistently with increasing train tonnage. One locomotive was also found to consume about 12 percent more fuel than the other locomotive tested. The fuel consumption and trip time results for individual runs varied between +8.0 to -9.5 and +5.4 and -10.7 percent, respectively, of the Train Performance Simulator results. However, when averaged over the ten test runs analyzed, the fuel consumption and trip time results were within 1.04 and 0.03 percent, respectively, of the simulator. Throttle notch settings and train speed profiles also agreed well with simulated results.