Progress Rail develops battery switcher 22 September 2020

Rail fastener company, Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, has developed a new battery powered switcher locomotive to be available globally, working in collaboration with its South American customer, Vale.

The zero-emission, zero-idle and low noise EMD® Joule locomotive broadens Progress Rail’s rolling stock portfolio with the latest smart lithium-ion battery technology and reliable performance for instant start within yard applications.

The new EMD Joule will go into a pilot phase this year, with full service anticipated for Vale soon thereafter, supporting operations at its Tubarão yard. Vale shared that this development contributes to its ambitious goals of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 33% by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

With the multitude of next generation technologies being introduced, Progress Rail began addressing industry challenges with Vale, along with the companies’ collective Brazilian engineering teams and Progress Rail’s US-based locomotive engineers, to deliver a solution with ample power and charging capabilities.

“Our team has taken great pride in this exciting project, working closely with Vale to deliver a new advanced technology battery locomotive in approximately 11 months. This locomotive will help Vale achieve their emissions objectives,” said Marty Haycraft, President and CEO of Progress Rail. “We look forward to continuing to support our entire global customer base with innovative products and services to help them meet their operating and environmental objectives.”

The new switcher includes battery capacity being delivered to Vale of 1.9 megawatt hours, and could reach up to 2.4 megawatt hours with additional options available. The switcher has nominal power up to 3,000 horsepower, and a run time of up to 24 hours, depending upon charging and utilisation.

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, is one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers. Progress Rail delivers advanced EMD locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signalling, rail welding and Kershaw Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations.

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 814 450

Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.

Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.