Progress Rail is on a mission to zero emissions.
The locomotive manufacturer put the first battery-electric locomotive into service for a Brazilian mining company in 2020, and next year they’ll be hauling iron ore in Australia. Meanwhile, Union Pacific is adding 10 of these battery-powered rail vehicles to its fleet as part of the largest investment in battery-electric technology by a U.S. Class I railroad.
Beyond electric, Progress Rail (a subsidiary of Caterpillar) is working with Chevron to develop a locomotive powered by hydrogen fuel cells and collaborating with the Canadian National Railway to test renewable fuel blends, including biodiesel. It’s also developing “smart cruise control” that uses machine learning to optimize train performance and energy efficiency.
Self-described rail geek Michael Cleveland, Director of Advanced Energy at Progress Rail, talks about the company’s quest to lead the transition from diesel to fuel systems that promise to make trains cleaner, quieter, and more reliable.