Magnetic Transport Systems
An Affiliate of Shapery Enterprises

Pollution Reduction/Energy Savings

The Problem

The use of trains for freight transport has doubled in the last 35 years. By 2030, trains will produce almost twice as much soot as trucks, and will be responsible for about one-third of all particulate pollution attributable to the transporation sector. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, "locomotives are among the most dangerous and pervasive sources of air pollution in the United States." The table below shows how locomotive pollution compares to automobile pollution in six major metro areas.


Urban area

Locomotive NOx emissions (tons/year)

Equivalent number of automobiles (ii)

Chicago 23,000 25,000,000
Los Angeles (iii) 12,000 13,000,000
Houston-Galveston 6,500 7,000,000
Dallas–Fort Worth 4,500 4,900,000
Baltimore 2,600 2,800,000
Detroit 2,100 2,300,000


The Solution

Linear induction and linear synchonous type electric systems can completely resolve the pollution issue. These systems operate on magnetic fields and therefore are noiseless, pollution-free and have no moving parts to wear out. From a pollution standpoint, trains powered by electricity from a central power plan produce less than 1/250th the amount of pollution that diesel trains produce and operate at one third the fuel cost.

Calculation of Linear Motor NOx Reduction

Calculation of Linear Motor Fuel Savings

This calculation is based on conversion of a regional port corridor from diesel to linear motors.Operating Assumptions
  • 10-mile route with 1 million cargo cars/year
  • 50 tons/car - 500 million ton-miles of traffic per year
NOx Emissions - Conventional Locomotives
  • 202 g NOx/gallon fuel x 1.25 m gal/yr = 252.5 m g NOx/yr
  • 252.5 m g NOx/yr = 278 tons NOx/year
NOx Emissions - Linear Motor Rail
  • 0.15 lb NOx/MWhr (200 SCE power plant rule)
  • 0.15 lb NOx/MWhr x 13,300 MWhr/yr = 1995 lb NOx/yr
  • 1,995 lb NOx/yr = 1 ton NOx/year
That's 278 tons vs. 1 ton over a single 10 mile stretch of rail.
Same Operating AssumptionsDiesel Fuel Cost - Conventional Locomotive
  • 400 ton-miles/gallon fuel over 500 million miles = 1.25 m gal/yr
  • 1.25 m gal/yr x $4.00/gal = $5m/year diesel fuel cost
Electricity Cost - Linear Motor Rail
  • 0.5 diesel/HP-hr = 14 HP-hr gal + 10.6 kWhr/gal
  • 400 ton-miles/gal over 500 million miles = 13.3m kWhr
  • 13.3 m kWhr x $0.12/kWhr = $1.596 m/yr electricity cost
Thats $5 million fuel cost versus $1.6 million electricity cost



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