ERIE, PA, Oct. 31, 2023 – All aboard the future of rail transport! Wabtec, in collaboration with Roy Hill, has pulled out of the station with the world’s first 100% battery-powered, heavy-haul locomotive for mainline tracks. This vibrant pink engine made its debut at Wabtec’s Pennsylvania hub.
Green Signal for a Sustainable Rail Journey
Rafael Santana, President & CEO of Wabtec, shared, “This FLXdrive locomotive represents a major step in the journey to a low-to-zero-emission future in the rail industry. The FLXdrive is driven from within by our battery technology and the innovative spirit of our employees. Roy Hill is an ideal customer to partner with given their leadership and excellent operational record.” He tipped his hat to Roy Hill, praising their track record in operations.
Under the Hood
The FLXdrive is powered by a robust 7 megawatt hours (MWh) battery. Given Roy Hill’s operations, this engine is set to cut down on fuel costs and emissions. After some final tweaks and tests, this locomotive will chug its way to Western Australia’s Pilbara region in 2024.
Gerhard Veldsman of Hancock Prospecting Group said, “The foresight of our Executive Chairman, Mrs. Gina Rinehart AO, has been instrumental in establishing an environment in which we can successfully leverage the ingenuity of our people alongside key partners like Wabtec to transform our rail and mining operations through next-generation technologies.” He highlighted its smart regenerative braking system, which charges the battery on downhill runs, making the uphill journey smoother and more efficient.
Teaming Up on the Tracks
Roy Hill currently runs trains with Wabtec’s diesel-electric locomotives, hauling hefty loads of iron ore. The FLXdrive will join this fleet, working in tandem and using its top-notch energy management tools. Plus, it’s built to handle the Pilbara’s scorching heat.
More Than Just a Pretty Pink
Roy Hill’s pink engine isn’t just for show. It’s a nod to their commitment to breast cancer research. To mark the FLXdrive’s launch, Wabtec donated a cool $50,000 to Linked By Pink, supporting younger breast cancer survivors.
Quick Stops: About Roy Hill & Wabtec
Roy Hill is a top-tier iron ore operation in Western Australia, led by the business-savvy Mrs. Gina Rinehart AO. Wabtec, with over 150 years on the rail scene, is all about innovative transport solutions.
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