Beef: It's what's for dinner... and what's now powering your trip between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, TX. Amtrak is acting on a $274,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to carry out a yearlong research project on its Heartland Flyer
line, testing the effects of a new blend of biodiesel
fuel made from beef byproducts.
This blend, known as B20 (for 20% pure biofuel
and 80% diesel
), has already been shown to reduce emissions in stationary testing. The new research project will test the Heartland Flyer
for exhaust emissions as well as assessing the blend's effects on the locomotive engine's valves and gaskets to see if the cow fuel can one day become a viable and reliable alternative fuel
for trains around the country.
If the thought of riding on a train powered by former cud-chewers riles your inner-vegetarian, maybe this will help convince you otherwise: Amtrak will offer half-off tickets while the test is ongoing.
Full press release available here