Union Pacific purchases 10 FLXDrive battery electric locomotives

By Julian Buckley31 January 2022

Wabtec FLXdrive locomotives Wabtec FLXdrive locomotives Photo credit: Wabtec

Union Pacific Railroad has purchased 10 FLXDrive battery-electric locomotives from Wabtec. The buy is reported to be the largest of its kind by a North American railroad.

Each of the locos is powered by a 2.4 MWh battery pack made up of about 20,000 individual lithium-ion cells. A dedicated HVAC system maintains battery pack temperatures, while an energy management system monitors cell health.

Charging can be completed using track side units, plus there is regenerative braking charge capture.

The packs support loco operation for between 30 and 40 minutes at full 4400 hp output. Maximum hauling weight is approximately 430,000 lb, while maximum speed is approx. 75 mph.

The locos have six axles, four of which are powered.

Rafael Santana, president and CEO of Wabtec, said: “Battery power is an ideal solution to reduce the environmental impact and costs of yard operations. Using the FLXdrive in the rail yard can significantly improve local air quality, as well as reduce noise by up to 70% for neighbouring communities.”

The locomotives will upgrade Union Pacific’s rail yard infrastructure. They will eliminate an estimated 4,000 tonnes of carbon per year from related operations.

Union Pacific is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030 and achieve net zero operations by 2050.

“Railroads are already the leader in low-emissions ground transportation and we believe battery-electric locomotives are the next step in our journey to eventually reach net zero,” said Lance Fritz, chairman, president and CEO of Union Pacific.

Manufactured in the US, the locomotives are scheduled for delivery in 2023.

This deal follows a similar acquisiton by Union Pacific which will see the railroad company purchase a further 10 battery-electric EMD Joule locomotives from Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company. 

NEWSLETTER
Delivered directly to your inbox, New Power Progress newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.



CONNECT WITH THE TEAM
Mike Brezonick VP, Power Division Tel: +1 262 754 4112 E-mail: mike.brezonick@khl.com
Alister Williams VP Sales Tel: +1 843 637 4127 E-mail: alister.williams@khl.com
Julian Buckley
Julian Buckley Editor Tel: +44 771 009 6684 E-mail: julian.buckley@khl.com
CONNECT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Latest News
Cummins closes on Siemens CV business
Transaction by Meritor subsidiary expected to accelerate development of electrified power solutions
ATAE to introduce Munro utility BEV
The new utlity vehicle will be targeted at agriculture, forestry and mining industries
United Rentals adds emissions info to online catalog
Users of the online rental catalog can now filter equipment by emissions level