Home Rail News GE to partner BNSF on battery freight locomotive tests

GE to partner BNSF on battery freight locomotive tests

A battery-electric freight locomotive is to be developed in the United States by BNSF Railway and GE Transportation.

The programme will see GE Transportation design and build an AC Evolution Series locomotive which will feature an overall energy-management system, including onboard energy storage.

This battery-electric locomotive will generate 2,400kWhrs of power and will be paired with diesel locomotives to power a freight train traveling from the city of Stockton to Barstow, California.

BNSF estimates that it could reduce the train’s total fuel consumption by at least 10 per cent.

Photo: GE Transportation.
Photo: GE Transportation.

GE Transportation’s vice-president of global technology Dominique Malenfant said: “Battery-powered or hybrid locomotives are promising technologies for the rail industry with the potential to reduce operating costs and emissions.

“This project will give us tremendous insight into the capabilities of battery power and the best operational methods of leveraging the technology. It will accelerate the development of this cleaner, more efficient solution for the freight rail industry.”

The equipment will be manufactured in 2019 and be deployed in 2020.

Back in 2010, BNSF, in partnership with US Army Corps of Engineers and Vehicle Projects Inc, ran the first hydrogen-powered locomotive (Pictured). This was a 130-tonne diesel shunter which used a 240kW fuel cell provided by Ballard.

Read more: Average age of Britain’s train fleet falls for first time in more than a decade


Rail Engineer is the leading independent quality monthly magazine for engineers, project managers, directors and leading rail executive decision makers. Head to www.railsubs.com to make a free subscription to RailEngineer magazine or one of its sister publications.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Must Read

“Radical yet respectful” proposals for Birmingham Moor Street station revealed

Proposals for a “radical yet respectful” transformation to Birmingham Moor Street station have been released. The existing station building, which...

Greater Anglia train drivers taking leap into new technology

New state-of-the-art train simulators are being used to train 768 Greater Anglia drivers that will be driving the new trains due to replace all...

Edinburgh Tram extension to Newhaven gets Council approval.

The proposed extension of the Edinburgh Tram network, as previously reported in Rail Engineer, has now been approved by Edinburgh City Council....

New plans for rail freight in Scotland

The freight industry in Scotland has collectively launched a new strategy intended to increase the amount of freight moved by rail. This is in...

Rail Engineer March 2019: Digital Railway, Signalling & Telecoms