DRAFT Truck vs. Train Emissions Analysis
Though moving cargo by trains may have produced fewer emissions than trucks in the past, trucks in California have become much cleaner over the last decade and are moving towards zero emission technology. To answer the question of whether trucks or trains are cleaner, staff compared both current emissions and future projected emissions from moving cargo by both trucks and trains and determined that trucks will be the cleaner mode to move cargo by 2023.
Emissions Analysis Assumptions
The analysis considered emissions from moving 260 cargo containers using trucks or a train from the Ports to a distance of 300 miles, as illustrated below. Each truck transports one container. The train consists of four locomotives and transports 260 containers.
Emissions Analysis Results
PM2.5 and NOX Emissions
The results are based on the projected average mix of trucks and trains in California for the given year. Results show that as California’s current truck regulations are implemented through 2023, trucks are producing less particulate matter (PM2.5) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions. By 2023, trucks will be the cleaner mode to transport freight. Beyond 2023, future CARB Regulations will further reduce truck emissions, eventually bringing them to zero.
Truck vs. Train comparison of PM2.5 and NOX emissions within 20 miles of the Ports:
Truck vs. Train comparison of PM2.5 and NOX emissions 20-300 miles from the Ports:
Need for Tier 4 Technology and Beyond for Trains
If locomotive fleets were to utilize commercially available Tier 4 technology, PM2.5 and NOX emissions would be reduced by over 80% compared to typical trains operating in 2020. In addition, the introduction of Tier 5 technology would further reduce train emissions to keep pace with the transition to zero emission trucks in California.
CARB Actions to Reduce Emissions
- Truck resources:
- Train resources:
- Draft Truck vs. Train Emissions Analysis FAQ
- Mobile Source Emissions Inventory Modeling Tools
- Locomotive Emissions Inventory
- Please submit any questions or comments regarding the Draft Truck vs. Train Emissions Analysis to: firstname.lastname@example.org