CHICAGO – Amtrak and the Oklahoma and Texas state transportation
departments are honored to announce the test of a cleaner and renewable
biodiesel fuel blend to power the daily Amtrak Heartland Flyer train has
made TIME magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Inventions of 2010.”
        With a whimsical cartoon pointing out the biodiesel blend includes
beef byproduct, what TIME calls “Amtrak’s Beef Powered Train” joins the
ranks of Apple Inc.’s iPad and better 3-D glasses on the “50 Best” list.
Operating daily between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, the Heartland Flyer
is the only one of TIME’s ten transportation innovations to be publically
        “This recognition from TIME magazine is an honor to our state
partners and all of us at Amtrak who are working on this project, the
nation’s first test of biodiesel in an interstate passenger train,” said
Roy Deitchman, Amtrak Vice President, Environmental, Health and Safety.
“Amtrak travel is already more energy efficient than most other forms of
intercity transportation.  If the test shows this use of a renewable fuel
in our locomotive is successful, it’s a home run for our passengers, for
our partners and for the planet.”
        Amtrak received a $274,000 grant from the Federal Railroad
Administration to carry out the research project in partnership with the
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (Okla. DOT) on the train operated by
Amtrak with state support from both Oklahoma and Texas.  The biodiesel
blend is provided by a Texas-based vendor.
In previously conducted stationary locomotive engine testing, the biodiesel
blend known as B20 (20% pure biofuel and 80% diesel) reduced hydrocarbons
and carbon monoxide each by 10 percent, reduced particulates by 15 percent
and sulfates by 20 percent.  Detailed measurements will be taken on the
locomotive at the end of 12 months so any impact of the biodiesel on valves
and gaskets can be measured.  Amtrak will collect locomotive exhaust
emissions data for analysis in accordance with U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency locomotive exhaust emissions federal test protocols.
       “Quality of life issues are increasingly important.  The Heartland
Flyer has always provided high-quality service and being the first to test
this program is another testimony in doing that by trying to improve the
environment,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley.  “We
are truly proud that Oklahoma is a part of this innovative way to improve
our quality of life.'
       “Improving air quality and providing multimodal transportation
alternatives are goals central to Texas transportation development
efforts,” said Bill Glavin, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Rail
Division Director. “Our partnership with Amtrak and Oklahoma on the
Heartland Flyer helps us accomplish both goals - motorists have an
additional option for travel between North Texas and Oklahoma City, which
not only takes vehicles off the highway, but reduces harmful emissions
compared to traditional diesel-fueled locomotives.”
        Since April 2010, General Electric P32-8 locomotive 500 has carried
an Amtrak decal indicating the use of B20 fuel and other special markings
to make certain only the biodiesel fuel is used in 3,200-horsepower,
12-cylinder engine, through the conclusion of the test in April 2011.  The
trial has received support on fuel and engine component evaluation from
Chevron Oronite.  The engine manufacturer has provided input on warranty
About the Heartland Flyer

The  Amtrak  Heartland  Flyer  was  inaugurated June 14, 1999, with federal
funds received by Okla. DOT that were designed to initiate service in areas
without  Amtrak  trains.   TxDOT  joined  the partnership with Oklahoma and
Amtrak  in  2006  with  the  support  of  the  Heartland  Flyer  Coalition,
representing the communities along the 206-mile route.  Ridership in the 12
months  ending  September  30  was  81,749, up 11 percent from the previous
year.  Growth  is continuing with October 2010 ridership up by more than 17
percent compared to October 2009.

Amtrak operates the Heartland Flyer under state-funded contracts with Okla.
DOT  and  TxDOT to provide daily service, with regularly scheduled stops in
Oklahoma  City,  Norman, Purcell, Pauls Valley and Ardmore, Oklahoma and in
Gainesville  and  Fort  Worth,  Texas.   For  additional information, visit

About the Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The  mission  of  the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is to provide a
safe‚  economical‚  and  effective  transportation  network for the people‚
commerce   and  communities  of  Oklahoma.   For  more  information,  visit

About the Texas Department of Transportation

The  Texas  Department  of  Transportation  is  responsible for maintaining
nearly  80,000  miles  of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public
transportation  across  the  state.  TxDOT  and  its  approximately  12,000
employees  strive  to  empower  local leaders to solve local transportation
problems,   and   to   use  new  financial  tools,  including  tolling  and
public-private  partnerships,  to  reduce  congestion  and pave the way for
future  economic  growth  while enhancing safety, improving air quality and
increasing the value of the state’s transportation assets. Find out more at

About Amtrak

As  the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America
in  safer,  greener  and  healthier  ways.  Last fiscal year (FY 2010), the
railroad carried more than 28.7 million passengers, making it the best year
in  the  company’s  history.  With  21,000  route  miles  in 46 states, the
District  of  Columbia  and  three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more
than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500
destinations.  Amtrak  also  is  the  partner of choice for state-supported
corridor  services  in  15  states  and for several commuter rail agencies.
Visit  or  call  800-USA-RAIL  for  schedules,  fares  and more
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Amtrak Contact: Marc Magliari
312 880.5390
Oklahoma DOT Contact: Brenda Perry
405 521.6006
Texas DOT Contact: Karen Amacker
512 463.8700