North American rail company CN has announced an order to enhance 60 locomotives through Wabtec Corporation’s modernisation programme. 

The rail operator will see 60 of its certified pre-owned Dash-9 locomotives modernised by Wabtec, which will transform them from DC to AC-powered traction, upgrade the engines and install a suite of digital upgrades. 

The modernisation order is part of CN’s sustainability targets as it aims to reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 43% per gross tonne mile by 2030, compared to 2019 levels and reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

CN vice-president of mechanical Mark Grubbs said: “Modernising these locomotives cost-effectively improves the reliability of our existing fleet and contributes to reducing our rail carbon footprint. 

“In addition to reducing the environmental impact of our own operations, it helps us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our customers.” 

The locomotives will be installed with digital solutions, such as Trip Optimiser – a smart cruise-control system and LOCOTROL Distributed Power – a control and communication system that enables coordinated braking and traction power distribution. 

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CN says that the upgrades are targeting an 18% improvement in fuel efficiency, a 40% increase in reliability and a 55% increase in pulling power. 

Wabtec Freight Services president Alicia Hammersmith said: “Our modernisation solutions allow CN to enhance its existing fleet by upgrading to Wabtec’s state-of-the-art technology to enhance the locomotives’ performance to current standards. 

“Our modernisation program supports the circular economy and is a key component of Wabtec’s sustainability approach through processes that reduce waste, extend life and improve fuel efficiency, thereby driving emissions reductions and helping customers save money.” 

The CN order continues the success of Wabtec’s modernisation programme, which recently saw an order from Hong Kong’s MTR to expand the service life of 25 of its locomotives. 

Wabtec also recently announced a record order for its pre-owned programme after Genessee & Wyoming ordered 69 locomotives for six of its subsidiaries in the Northern US.