Posts Tagged ‘Wabtec Corp’

Wabtec Seeks Zero Emission Locomotive

November 30, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec is seeking to develop a locomotive that will not have greenhouse gas emissions.

As reported by Trains magazine on its website, company officials said at the RailTrends 2021 conference that such a product may be a “moonshot”  but they are still aiming toward it.

“The big question is what’s possible?” said Gina Trombley, Wabtec’s executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer.

A zero emissions locomotives won’t be developed overnight.

Trombley said a first step is to rehabilitate existing locomotives to lower their emissions and reduce fuel consumption. Another key will be the development of better batteries that will be used to power locomotives.

The article can be read at

CN Buys Wabtec Battery Locomotive for B&LE

November 4, 2021

Canadian National is buying a battery-powered locomotive from Wabtec to use on its Bessemer & Lake Erie subsidiary in Pennsylvania.

The locomotive is a FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive, which CN said is the first 100 percent battery heavy-haul locomotive for the region. It is CN’s first battery-electric locomotive.

Funding to purchase the locomotive came in part from a grant from the  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Wabtec said the FLXdrive technology can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30 percent.

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 Completes Rebuild on 1,000th Unit

August 9, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec said last week that it has completed rebuilding its 1,000th locomotive.

The rebuilding program began in 2015 with work done at plants in Erie, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas; and Contagem, Brazil.

Norfolk Southern has received half of the rebuilt units, many of them General Electric-built Dash 9 units with 4,000 horsepower D.C. traction motors that were manufactured in the 1990s.

Wabtec has converted them to A.C. traction and designed them as AC44C6M models.

NS No. 4463 was the 1,000th unit rebuilt by Wabtec and was displayed at the Fort Worth plant.

In a news release, Wabtec said rebuilt locomotives increase tractive effort by 50 percent with the switch from D.C. to A.C. traction, improvements in truck design, an 11-ton weight increase, and new standardized control systems.

It said NS can assign two rebuilt units to trains that would have required three older units to achieve the same performance level.

CSX to Use Wabtec Locomotive Technology

June 25, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec announced this week that CSX will use its Trip Optimizer Zero-to-Zero system.

In a news release, Wabtec said the system is designed to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

CSX will be the first railroad to use the system, which starts a train from zero mph and stops it automatically using various controls. 

The announcement also said CSX plans to use Wabtec’s Tier 4 switcher modernization program, which the company said provides an additional 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 90 percent reduction in emissions.

This program upgrades 40-to-50-year-old locomotives and Tier 0 non-emission switcher locomotives to the latest Tier 4 platform., Wabtec said.

CSX also said it will modernize locomotives across its fleet with Wabtec’s FDL Advantage engine upgrade, which provides up to an additional 5 percent reduction in fuel consumption through a high-pressure common rail fuel system.

Wabtec, GM to Develop Loco Power Systems

June 16, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabetc has signed a memorandum of understanding with General Motors to work to develop a battery for use on Wabtec locomotives.

The two companies plan to work to develop GM’s Ultium battery technology and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell systems.

The systems would be used in Wabtec’s  FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive. A prototype of the unit recently tested on BNSF in California.

In a statement, Wabtec said “by working with GM on Ultium battery and Hydrotec hydrogen fuel cell technologies, we can accelerate the rail industry’s path to decarbonization and pathway to zero-emission locomotives by leveraging these two important propulsion technologies.”

Wabtec said the collaboration will enable Wabtec to take advantage of technology already under development for a variety of highway uses.

GM is constructing battery cell plants in Ohio and Tennessee in a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions, and will manufacture its hydrogen fuel cells in a joint venture with Honda at a plant in Brownstown, Michigan.

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 to Acquire Nordco

March 24, 2021

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec said on Tuesday that is has an agreement to buy Nordco from Greenbrier Equity Group or $400 million in cash. 

The Wisconsin-based Nordco is a supplier of rebuilt and used maintenance-of-way equipment.

This includes mobile rail-car movers and ultrasonic rail-flaw detection technology.

In a news release, Wabsco said the transaction has received regulatory approvals and is subject to customary closing conditions.

“This deal will significantly increase our presence in the maintenance-of-way segment and give us a strong position in the growing rail-car mover market,” said Pascal Schweitzer, president of Wabtec’s freight services group, in a statement.

Nordco is expected to have full-year 2021 sales of more than $175 million.

Wabtec said it is financing the acquisition through cash on hand and a revolving credit facility.

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.