It is interesting to see how old technologies are making a comeback in an effort to reduce pollution and become more bio sustainable. In this case the use of steam locomotives running on bio coal. The latest effort is based on collaboration between the University of Minnesota and the nonprofit Sustainable Rail International for a biofuel powered carbon-neutral locomotive. The effort is called the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR). The CSR plan calls for making use of torrefied biomass (bio coal), a biofuel created through “an energy-efficient processing” of cellulosic biomass, as the fuel source. Bio coal is described by the groups behind this as effectively being carbon neutral – compared to regular coal anyhow – as well as containing no heavy metals and producing less ash, smoke and volatile off-gases. CSR Project 130, as it is called, has the goal of creating not only the world’s cleanest locomotive to prove the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology, but also the most powerful, especially when compared to the diesel electrics commonly in use today. The vision for the technology being developed in this process is to help build a locomotive that can reach speeds of 130 miles per hour, breaking the world record for steam locomotive speed, which currently stands at 126 mph. For all of us rail fans, the sight of steam returning to the rails would be a wonderful development in the world of mass transit.