The Anonymous Widower

FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Age.

The article describes Wabtec’s FLXdrive locomotive, as “the world’s first 100% battery, heavy-haul locomotive”

It is well worth a read, as it describes some of the design philosophy.

In addition, this page on the Wabtec web site gives some details of the locomotive.

It is powered by lithium-ion batteries.

  • There are around 20,000 battery cells
  • The batteries have their own air-conditioning
  • There is a sophisticated battery-management system.
  • The total battery size is 2.4 MWh
  • Power output is 4400 HP or 3.24 MW
  • Locomotive will run for 30-40 minutes at full power.
  • The locomotive has regenerative braking.
  • Operating speed is 75 mph

Note that running at 75 mph for 40 minutes would cover fifty miles.

The Railway age article has this paragraph, which describes a partnership between Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute.

CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec also hope to create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, described as “the first-of-its-kind effort to create zero-emission locomotives, develop technology that increases freight rail utilization and improve safety by 50%, and create 250,000 jobs by 2030.” G&W’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad will pilot technologies developed by the Freight Rail Innovation Institute, including a zero-emissions battery and hydrogen-powered train that is planned for revenue operation on 200 miles of track between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, N.Y. within the next three years.


  1. The paragraph is very much a mission statement.
  2. Genesee & Wyoming are the parent of Freightliner in the UK, who are developing a dual-fuel locomotive, that I wrote about in Freightliner Secures Government Funding For Dual-Fuel Project.

It strikes me CMU, Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec are on the right track.

September 16, 2021 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. I seem to recall that G&W has an investment in one of the UK freight operators. Maybe their battery loco experience in the US will inform their choices in the UK

    Comment by MilesT | September 19, 2021 | Reply

  2. […] a large American diesel-electric locomotive into a battery electric locomotive. I wrote about it in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh. In Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?, I concluded that it […]

    Pingback by Freight On The East West Main Line « The Anonymous Widower | October 8, 2021 | Reply

  3. […] described the locomotive in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh and the more I learn about this locomotive the more I like […]

    Pingback by Canadian National Buys Battery Locomotive « The Anonymous Widower | November 5, 2021 | Reply

  4. […] was rumoured in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh, where a partnership between Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU), Genesee & Wyoming and Wabtec to […]

    Pingback by Rio Tinto Orders Wabtec FLXdrive Battery Locomotives To Reduce Emissions « The Anonymous Widower | January 11, 2022 | Reply

  5. […] formally launched the FLXdrive concept in Pittsburgh in September last year, which I wrote about in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh, that would appear to have been good […]

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