Posts Tagged ‘battery powered locomotives’

N&SS to get Battery-Powered Switcher

March 3, 2022

A short line railroad based in Cleveland has purchased its first all-battery electric locomotive.

The Newburgh & South Shore acquired an AMPS Traction GP9-based battery electric switching locomotive.

It weighs 250,000 pounds and has 1,700 in gross horsepower and an 80,000-pound dispatch said officials with OmniTRAX, the parent company of the N&SS.

The news release said the N&SS is the first Ohio short line to deploy AMPS’ emission-reducing locomotive, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption by half and cut nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter by 77 percent.

The locomotive was purchased in part through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund, which awards funding that supports a demonstrated improvement of air quality.

N&SS was one of seven recipients of grants for projects that reduce emissions from aging diesel vehicles and equipment.

Study Favors Battery Power for Locomotives

December 6, 2021

A recent federal study found significant environmental benefits and cost savings could be realized by railroads by converting diesel locomotives to battery power.

Railroads could save up to $94 billion over a 20-year period and avoid 1,000 premature deaths per year through reduced air pollution.

The study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and published in Nature Emergy.

Collaborating on the study were the University of California Los Angeles and the University of California Berkeley.

Diesel engines could be left in place in locomotives to serve as a backup power source, the study said.

The study said improvements in battery technology have made the retrofitting possible.

The batteries could be contained within battery tenders or rail cars with battery units.

Those could also be used as mobile power sources during extreme events such as wildfires or winter storms to create an auxiliary power source in regions that where power sources have been knocked offline.

Battery-Powered Locomotive Moves to Pittsburgh

August 30, 2021

A battery-electric prototype built by Wabtec left Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday for a an event in Pittsburgh.

The FLXdrive locomotive was accompanied by ET44C6 demonstrator No. 2044.

Both are appearing at the Sept. 10 Freight 2030 event that focuses on the future of railroads.

The battery-powered locomotive had tested earlier this year in California on BNSF.

Wabtec Shares Data From Battery Locomotive Testing

May 18, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec released findings on Monday showing that its battery-powered locomotive cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 11 percent during testing.

Wabtec’s FLXdrive locomotive tested over 13,000 miles on BNSF in California earlier this year.

The next step in the development of a battery-electric locomotive, Wabtec said, will be creating battery capacity of more than 6 megawatt hours, which could reduce the fuel consumption and carbon emissions of a locomotive consist by up to 30 percent.

Such a locomotive could begin revenue service “in the next few years,” Wabtec said in a news release.

Wabtec said its efforts to develop zero-emission locomotives using batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and hydrogen internal combustion engines has “a clear path” to power new locomotives and re-power existing engines — with those forms of power.

The locomotives used in the BNSF test had 18,000 lithium-ion battery cells with 2.4 megawatts of power that were charged at rail yards and through regenerative braking.

A grant of $22.6 million from the California Air Resources Board to Wabtec, BNSF, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District paid for the testing.

Wabtec Touts Battery Operated Locomotive

May 3, 2021

The Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive has been sent back to the company’s locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, after completing tests on BNSF.

Wabtec officials said the testing, conducted largely in Southern California, had the prototype work for more than 13,000 miles.

They said test results were encouraging. Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana said the locomotive “was able to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions by more than 11 percent.”

Calling that a “game-changer in decarbonizing rail,” Santana said his company continues to see growing interest in next generation motive power and that battery-electric will be part of his company’s long-term growth.

Wabtec officials said they are having “some strong discussions with customers.”

A number of railroads, including Class 1 systems Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, have begun studying motive power that does not use diesel fuel.

CP is developing a hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive and CN has been examining various options.

BNSF spokeswoman Amy Casas said the Wabtec battery prototype met expectations for efficiency performance and confirmed the potential of this technology.

More detailed reports on the locomotive’s performance are expected to be released in the coming months.

Wabtec Seeks Federal Funding for ‘Green’ Motive Power

March 18, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec wants Congress to help it fund development of zero-emission locomotives.

Wabtec said it has one such engine, the FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive, now undergoing testing on BNSF in California.

Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana said the federal funding of the Freight Rail Innovation Institute will help it develop zero-emissions locomotive technology to replace the diesel by 2030.

“Wabtec’s goal is to develop the next generation of zero-emission locomotives. Wabtec has a clear path to power new locomotives – and repower existing locomotives – with batteries, hydrogen internal combustion engines, and hydrogen fuel cells,” Santana told the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Santana said the institute is partnering with short line holding company Genesee & Wyoming, and Carnegie Mellon University to develop a new generation of motive power.

Santana said the institute will conduct research, demonstration, and commercialization of technology that can eliminate railroads’ use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

In his testimony, Santana said new network logistics technology would enable railroads to shift highway traffic to rail.

The changes that Santana described include technology to enable railroads to move block signal systems and implement more sophisticated network management software that would increase rail line capacity by 50 percent.

“Each diesel-powered locomotive converted to alternative energy sources can save up to 3,000 tons of [carbon dioxide] per year,” Santana said.

Wabtec Battery Locomotive to Test on BNSF

November 14, 2020

A FLXDrive battery-electric locomotive is expected to leave the Wabtec locomotive assembly plant soon to begin testing on BNSF.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the unit was spotted this week sitting outside the Erie plant with two new BNSF locomotives.

The battery-operated red and gray locomotive will be tested next year in California between Stockton and Barstow.

The project is being funded in part by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The test locomotive can operate independently, but testing is focus on using the unit to create a hybrid consist mixing diesel and electric power.

Wabtec Tests Battery-Powered Locomotive near Erie

December 11, 2019

Wabtec this week tested a battery-powered locomotive on the test track outside its locomotive assembly plant in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Trains magazine reported that it was the first test run of such a locomotive

The unit tested is the first to rely primarily on batteries for propulsion and will be the first such locomotive to enter domestic mainline service.

The unit carries reporting mark GECX 6000 and was built to BNSF specifications including a C4 truck.

Trains said that once the testing is finished in the next few months, No. 6000 is expected to be painted into a Wabtec demonstrator livery.