Wabtec has received a contract, valued at over $1bn, from US-based Union Pacific for the modernisation of its locomotives.

Under the contract, the company will upgrade Union Pacific’s 600 locomotives through the addition of digital solutions and innovations.

Scope of the contract includes the overhaul of Union Pacific’s 525 AC4400 and AC6000 locomotives besides 75 Dash-9 locomotives.

These locomotives will be equipped with digital solutions and innovations, including the FDL Advantage engine upgrade and modular control architecture.

Furthermore, they will incorporate a next-generation controls technology, deployed across Wabtec’s locomotive fleet.

Wabtec plans to start delivery of the modernised locomotives next year.

The move is expected to help Union Pacific support its emissions target of reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% by 2030 from a 2018 baseline as well as reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The upgrades are expected to annually cut down around 350 tonnes of carbon per locomotive.

Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO Lance Fritz said: “Wabtec’s modernisation programme helps make our existing fleet more fuel efficient, capable and reliable.

“The resulting increased tractive power enables us to move more freight with fewer locomotives, which improves efficiency and reduces emissions.”

These upgrades are projected to result in an over 55% rise in haulage ability and up to 18% improvement in fuel efficiency for the locomotives, expanding their life.

Wabtec president and CEO Rafael Santana added:  “By customising these solutions for our customers and installing state-of-the-art technology, we are helping our customers realise outcomes including increased tractive effort, fuel efficiency, reliability, and adhesion, which reduce maintenance, repair and overhaul expenses.” 

Union Pacific registered a net income of $1.84bn or $2.93 per diluted share in Q2 2022, compared with $1.8bn or $2.72 a diluted share in the prior year.