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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / News Photo: Battery-electric locomotive set to leave Erie

News Photo: Battery-electric locomotive set to leave Erie

By | November 13, 2020

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Wabtec FLXDrive battery-electric locomotive

Wabtec FLXDrive battery-electric locomotive
Wabtec’s FLXDrive battery-electric locomotive is set to leave Erie, Pa., for testing in California. [Stephan M. Koenig]
Wabtec’s FLXDrive battery-electric locomotive is reportedly set to leave the company’s Erie, Pa., locomotive plant to begin its trip to California, where the unit is scheduled to begin testing on the BNSF Railway. The locomotive was spotted outside the plant today, accompanied by two new BNSF diesels.

battery-electric diesel and two BSNF diesels
The battery-electric waits with two BNSF diesels to be picked up by a Norfolk Southern train.
[Stephan M. Koenig]
Since its announcement in September 2019, plans have been for the locomotive — officially designated a BEL44C4D — to begin testing in early 2021 on a stretch of the BNSF between Stockton and Barstow, Calif. [see “Wabtec has high hopes for battery-electric road unit,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 2019]. Testing will be in California in part because part of the funding for the project has been provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, as recognized by one of the labels on the red-and-gray locomotive. While it will be capable of operating independently, the primary focus of the testing is to use the new unit to create a hybrid consist mixing diesel and electric power.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. to add model designation for new locomotive.

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