Making tracks towards a greener future
The New Zealand Government has introduced a policy to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. KiwiRail is currently reliant on diesel electric locomotives for all mainline freight requirements, and these vehicles produce substantial quantities of greenhouse gas emissions. In response to the challenge set by the Government, KiwiRail is setting out to eliminate carbon emissions from their fleet of locomotives—our team is there to help.
We were tasked with guiding KiwiRail to establish a framework that identifies, compares, and assesses different motive power technologies. Because technology for reducing locomotives is evolving rapidly, and New Zealand’s rail operational environment is unique, determining the best solution for the country now and predicting what will be best for the future was a major challenge. To account for this, our team developed and modelled a suite of different economic scenarios. This enabled us to forecast potential changes to freight demand, which we then used to assess the performance of different options in the future.
Ultimately, this project will help KiwiRail to determine the best path to replace its fleet with zero emission locomotives. The project is driving an understanding of rail transport’s role in the supply chain—success in reducing or eliminating carbon emissions in this sector will act as the benchmark for other freight transport modes to eliminate their own carbon emissions.
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