NBB Member Bently Biofuels helps Virginia & Truckee Railroad Go Green

By | June 09, 2009
National Biodiesel Board member Bently Biofuels of Minden, Nev., is providing biodiesel to power The Virginia & Truckee Railroad's diesel-electric locomotive. The historic railroad runs from Virginia City, Nev., to Gold Hill, Nev., and is among the first railroads in the United States to use biodiesel in its regularly scheduled operations.

"Our vintage diesel-electric locomotive is vitally important to regular operations and we are very pleased with the performance of the engine burning Bently's biodiesel," said
Thomas Gray, vice president of the V & T Railroad. "As with all antique equipment, changes of this type can be very challenging, but the biodiesel product has certainly lived up to its promise in our testing."

Passengers, particularly those in the open air cars, will have an improved experience during the passage through tunnels behind the diesel-electric. "We are excited to be working with the historic V&T Railroad," said Carlo Luri, general manager of Bently. "This is a great opportunity to show the public that it is possible to replace petroleum with clean burning, renewable fuel made from locally recycled resources. Biodiesel for the V&T is produced about 30 miles away at the Bently Biofuels plant in Minden, Nev., with cooking oil recycled from northern Nevada restaurants."

Today's V&T Railroad follows the 1869 route that connected the silver mines at Virginia City to the mills in Carson City. The V&T plans to use different blends for different seasons of the year, with the highest blend used during the peak summer season, when the V&T Railroad operates up to eight trains per day.

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad is celebrating its 33rd year of continuous operation, placing it among the enduring and important heritage railroads in the United States, reviving the history of the original Silver Short Line. Virginia City, the home of the V&T Railroad, is the largest National Historic Landmark in the United States and houses the most intact collection of buildings from the early West.
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