Pacific Harbor Line to procure battery-electric locomotive for testing

16 November 2020 (Last Updated November 16th, 2020 08:06)

The Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) in the US has signed an agreement to procure a battery electric locomotive from Progress Rail for testing.

Pacific Harbor Line to procure battery-electric locomotive for testing
A Progress Rail locomotive. Credit: User:Jase994 via Wikipedia.

The Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) in the US has signed an agreement to procure a battery electric locomotive from Progress Rail for testing.

As agreed, Progress Rail will supply its new six-axle EMD Joule battery-electric locomotive, which will be equipped with lithium-ion battery technology and battery management system.

The zero-emission 3,200HP locomotive will be tested for all types of services in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The vehicle will have a battery capacity of 2.4MWh.

Progress Rail president and CEO Marty Haycraft said: “Today’s announcement with PHL builds upon the excitement our team has witnessed in introducing a new battery-powered locomotive for yard and switching applications.

“We look forward to continuing to address customer needs around the globe, including helping meet or exceed their ambitious environmental requirements and goals with the latest rolling stock technologies.”

The company is expected to deliver the locomotive in the second half of next year.

PHL president Otis Cliatt II said: “PHL has always been in the forefront of demonstrating and acquiring successful new, low emission technology. The Joule is the first battery-electric switcher locomotive designed by a major locomotive supplier for North America that appears robust enough for the demanding PHL environment.

“As such, PHL is pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate this technology. What Progress Rail and PHL will learn from this demonstration will hopefully advance the prospects for zero-emission locomotive solutions in the San Pedro Bay ports.”

A subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, PHL offers railroad switching services to customers in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The company is responsible for dispatches all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains.

Earlier this year, Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, secured a contract to deliver 36 new EMD GT38AC freight locomotives to PT Kereta Indonesia.

The vehicles are set to be delivered late next year.