Wabtec Corporation and its Australian launch customer, Roy Hill, have unveiled the world’s first 100 percent battery-powered locomotive.
The FLXdrive is built for mainline heavy-haul locomotive services to de-carbonize the rail network.
“Today is a day people will be talking about for decades to come. This locomotive is significantly more powerful than the pro type that we tested back in 2021 in California,” said Rafael Santana, president and CEO of the Wabtec Corporation.
The seven-megawatt-hour Flex 2.0 locomotive system has been in the works for decades and is looked at as a legacy to some employees.
“There are many of us who have had our grandfathers, our fathers, our mothers work at this facility,” said Alan Hamilton, vice president of engineering at the Wabtec Corporation. “This is one of those next-generation products that we’re kind of setting today what will be the first of many to come over the next several decades.”
Wabtec donated $50,000 to Linked By Pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is the largest donation the local nonprofit has received in its 15-year history.
The fact that the locomotive is pink is evidence that Roy Hill and Wabtec are dedicated to breast cancer research.
“To have our largest employer in town show up for us in this way is something that I don’t think we will understand the full impact of,” said Christi Seth, executive director or Linked By Pink.
“Our greatest resource is our people, right? Invented right here and exported to the world, it showcases what Erie can do for the world,” said Hamilton.
The pink locomotive will soon be delivered to Australia for use in 2024