The Anonymous Widower

BNSF and Wabtec Commence Battery-Electric Locomotive Pilot Test In California

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from BNSF.

This is the introductory paragraph.

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and Wabtec’s (NYSE: WAB) exploration of the future potential of battery-electric locomotives crosses another significant milestone this week as they begin testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California. As BNSF seeks ways to further reduce its environmental impact, the advancement of battery technology offers some possible solutions.

“We’ve got everything in place and we’re ready to see how this next-generation locomotive performs in revenue service,” said John Lovenburg, BNSF vice president, Environmental. “BNSF is focused on continuing to reduce our environmental impact, and we’re committed to doing our part to test and assess the commercial viability of emerging technologies that reduce emissions.”

They have also released this video.

It certainly seems to work.

January 14, 2021 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,


  1. Of course one thing they could do is have a battery wagon immediately behind the loco(s) to provide the bulk of the power. When the journey is over it could be shunted off for recharging and a fresh battery wagon attached for the next run.

    If you look at freight trains in the US they often have at least two or three locos at the front an another in the middle and a train length of nearly a mile or more. I wonder how battery locos could cope with loads like that especially producing enough braking power too.

    Comment by MauriceGReed | January 14, 2021 | Reply

    • Hopefully, we’ll learn more after the testing.

      Comment by AnonW | January 14, 2021 | Reply

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