Wabtec to update 60 CN locomotives
By Jack Burke26 July 2023
Will transform locomotives from DC to AC traction
Wabtec said it has received a contract to update an additional 60 locomotives in CN’s existing fleet through Wabtec’s modernization program.
Wabtec’s Services team will modernize CN’s 60 certified pre-owned Dash-9 locomotives to bring the total modernized fleet to 110 locomotives. The company will transform the locomotives from DC to AC-powered traction and will feature enhancements such as the FDL Advantage engine upgrade and a suite of digital solutions including Trip Optimizer, and LOCOTROL Distributed Power. These upgrades are expected to extend the life of the locomotives and provide benefits, including targeted fuel efficiency improvements of up to 18% through a combination of engine and digital technology enhancements, a more than 40% increase in reliability, and up to a 55% increase in pulling power. The total program is expected to enable CN to realize up to 50,000 metric tons in annual greenhouse gas emission reductions, the equivalent of removing nearly 10,700 non-electric passenger cars. Additionally, the modernization order will reuse or recycle approximately 11,000 metric tons of steel.
“Modernizing these locomotives cost-effectively improves the reliability of our existing fleet and contributes to reducing our rail carbon footprint,” said Mark Grubbs, vice-president Mechanical at CN. “In addition to reducing the environmental impact of our own operations, it helps us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our customers.”
The modernizations will help to improve locomotive fuel efficiency, where CN remains a leader in the North American rail industry, consuming approximately 15% less locomotive fuel per gross ton mile than the industry average. The program supports CN’s science-based target to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 43% per gross ton mile by 2030 from a 2019 base year, and with CN’s commitment to setting a net-zero 2050 carbon emission target aligned to a 1.5-degree scenario.
“Our modernization solutions allow CN to enhance its existing fleet by upgrading to Wabtec’s state-of-the-art technology to enhance the locomotives’ performance to current standards,” said Alicia Hammersmith, president of Wabtec Freight Services. “Our modernization program supports the circular economy and is a key component of Wabtec’s sustainability approach through processes that reduce waste, extend life, and improve fuel efficiency, thereby driving emissions reductions and helping customers save money.”