Energy Savings Study: Lubricating Railroad Tangent Track With Soy-Based Grease
An overview of an ongoing, two-phase research study funded by the Iowa Energy Center, intended to quantify the substitution value of soy-based gage face (GF) lubricant, in terms of average fuel savings, is presented. With the ever-increasing cost of petroleum and diesel fuel, it is expected that increased energy efficiencies resulting from the application of a GF lubricant will, at some point, begin to justify the lubrication of not only curved track to prevent equipment wear, but also the lubrication of rail straightaways as a method of reducing locomotive fuel consumption. Benchmark energy savings attainable by applying GF lubricant on sections of straight track were defined. The scale of measurable energy savings is expected to decrease with the transition to straightway tracks, as the lateral forces acting on the train also decrease.
Department of Management
Original Publication Date
James, Wes; Honary, Lou; and Johnston, Patrick, "Energy Savings Study: Lubricating Railroad Tangent Track With Soy-Based Grease" (2007). Faculty Publications. 2599.