Southern Transcon

NOTE: We highly recommend that you check out the work of our friends at Californians for Electric RailThey have some excellent information and technical papers available for free download. 


BNSF Southern Transcon and UP Sunset Route

Both of the primary Class I railroad interstate corridors terminating in Southern California, the BNSF Southern Transcon and the Union Pacific (UP) Sunset Route, have excellent opportunities for renewable energy development.

  • The Southern Transcon is the main line of the BNSF Railway between Los Angeles and Chicago. Almost entirely double-tracked for its 2,200 miles, the route traverses California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.

  • UP’s Sunset Route runs about 800 miles from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas across California, Arizona and New Mexico.

 

Solar energy:

Both the Southern Transcon and the Sunset Route pass through areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with some of the best solar energy potential in the United States, as shown on the map below.

BNSF Southern Transcon and UP Sunset Route corridors, overlaid on solar photovoltaic energy potential mapSource: National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, November 2008
BNSF Southern Transcon and UP Sunset Route corridors, overlaid on solar photovoltaic energy potential mapSource: National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, November 2008

 

Wind energy:

Both the Southern Transcon and the Sunset Route pass through some of the nation’s best wind resources in eastern New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, as shown on the map below.

BNSF Southern Transcon and UP Sunset corridors, overlaid on map of wind energy potential and major transmission lines  Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy

Again - We highly recommend that you check out the work of our friends at Californians for Electric Rail.  They have some excellent technical papers available for free download.  

 

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