Union Pacific Railroad

At a Glance


Transport and Warehousing

Project Types

Engagement and Behavior Change, Industrial Energy Efficiency




Omaha, NE


MIT student Joseph Martin helped Union Pacific uncover costly deficiencies in its air and gas systems.


At Union Pacific, North America's premier railroad franchise, Joe Martin was given the task of identifying deficiencies in railyards.


Martin proposed a railyard maintenance plan involving periodic checks and inspections of outdoor compressed air systems. Martin also scheduled a pilot program for natural gas-capable vehicles in Salt Lake City. Union Pacific will assess viability to expand this project.

Potential Impact

By identifying and fixing deficiencies, including air leaks, Union Pacific could save up to $516,000 per year. If this maintenance plan is expanded to other compressed air systems within the company, Union Pacific could realize $713,000 in additional savings each year. In total, implementing these projects could avoid 32 million kWh of energy use each year and reduce 22,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. With existing prices and a conversion cost of $12,000, the savings from Martin's pilot program for Class 2 and 3 vehicle are $4,000 and 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

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