CN continues to advance decarbonisation efforts with EMD® Mainline Hybrid Locomotive from Progress Rail

Posted: 8 April 2024 | | No comments yet

Canadian Railway (CN) have continued to advance their decarbonisation efforts with its new hybrid diesel-battery locomotive.

cn decarbonisation

Credit: CN - A CN locomotive in Mississippi

CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is proud to announce the purchase of its first hybrid diesel-battery electric mainline locomotive from Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, as part of its decarbonisation plans. The EMD® will be tested to understand the potential impact and opportunity related to retrofitting a larger portion of the Company’s fleet. CN is collaborating on this initiative with the Province of British Columbia who awarded approximately $3.2 million to the Company under the Clean BC Go Electric Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program.

The plug-in hybrid mainline locomotive, a first of its kind in North America, will be evaluated on CN’s mainline in British Columbia, starting in Prince George and the northern part of the province, under varying operational and weather conditions. The testing will increase CN’s and the rail industry’s knowledge on battery technology and more specifically, on the impact of alternative propulsion technology on mainline locomotives. As different alternative propulsion solutions will require batteries – including hybrid, battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell locomotives – CN anticipates this initiative will contribute to further develop this key technology, while immediately reducing emissions.

“CN is committed to supporting the transition to a net-zero economy and proud of the progress we’ve made so far on our decarbonisation journey. We know rail is part of the climate solution and we are determined to do our part by setting ambitious science-based targets. Today’s announcement is another milestone on moving forward towards a more sustainable future,” said Patrick Whitehead, Executive Vice-President and Chief Network Operating Officer, CN.

“We are committed to developing innovative technologies that save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our EMD hybrid locomotive is a versatile solution that fits various customer applications, providing increased performance and a lower carbon footprint,” said Jack Zhang, Executive Vice President of Locomotive, Progress Rail.

“British Columbians want a cleaner, climate-friendly future, and we are taking actions to make that a reality. Our vision is to build a low-carbon future that supports key sectors like commercial transportation while mitigating the impacts of climate change and meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets. CN’s announcement takes us one step closer to this vision, using innovative clean technologies to reduce fuel usage and pollution,” added Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

CN is the most fuel-efficient railway in North America, using approximately 15% less locomotive fuel per gross ton mile than the industry average. In 2023, CN was recognised for its leadership in sustainability by S&P Global and its leadership on climate change by global environmental non-profit CDP. The continuing successful development and availability of alternative propulsion technology is part of a portfolio of emissions reduction initiatives to support CN in achieving its greenhouse gas emission targets.

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