The CMRR has a sustainability program to reduce locomotive emissions.

Biodiesel

In March 2024 the CMRR started using 100% Biodiesel in both of its locomotives in Kingston to reduce emissions.  The Biodiesel is made from Soybean Oil and is provided locally by NetZero Biofuels of New Windsor, NY.  The Soybean Oil feedstock is sourced from local farms near Syracuse, NY and treated at their facility in nearby Rock Tavern, New York. NetZero is a local startup founded by local entrepreneur Dave Davenport.

According to the US Department of Energy, the use of biodiesel reduces Carbon Dioxide (Greenhouse Gas) emissions by 74% compared to regular diesel fuel.   Additionally, it reduces carbon monoxide and particulate emissions by nearly 50%, and hydrocarbon emissions by nearly 70% compared to regular diesel.  Additionally, the composition of the remaining particulates is much less adverse than that from normal diesel as they are biodegradable.

The use of B100 biodiesel is the first time that 100% biodiesel has been used in the US Railroad tourism industry, which puts Ulster County on the cutting edge of locomotive sustainability.

Clean Diesel/Engine House Grant

In March 2024, the New York State Department of Transportation awarded the CMRR two grants totaling $3.818 million under NYSDOT’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program (PFRAP) relevant to Locomotive Emissions Reduction.

The first was a $2,300,000 for a Clean Diesel Upgrade to at least EPA Tier 3 locomotive for one of its existing locomotives.

The second was $1,518,000 for engine house construction for an all-weather maintenance facility with a connecting track. The engine house will be used to support the newly upgraded locomotive and to allow the CMRR to maintain its equipment and employ our full-time staff on a year-round basis.

This is the first clean diesel grant awarded in the US Railroad Tourism industry again putting Ulster County on the forefront of locomotive sustainability.

Sustainability Goals

Each of these projects make the CMRR the leader in sustainability in the US Railroad Tourism industry and shows the CMRR’s commitment to Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger’s goal of creating the boldest climate agenda in New York State.