Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, developed a new battery-powered switcher locomotive to be available globally, working in collaboration with its South American customer, Vale—one of the largest mining companies in the world.
The new EMD Joule switcher includes battery capacity being delivered to Vale of 1.9 megawatt hours; this could reach up to 2.4 MWh with additional options available. The switcher has nominal power up to 3,000 horsepower, and a run time of up to 24 hours, depending upon charging and utilization.
The zero-emission, zero-idle and low-noise EMD Joule locomotive broadens Progress Rail’s rolling stock portfolio with the latest smart lithium-ion battery technology and reliable performance for instant start within yard applications.
The new EMD® Joule will go into a pilot phase this year, with full service anticipated for Vale soon thereafter, supporting operations at its Tubarão yard.
Vale said that this development contributes to its goals of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 33% by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. With the multitude of next-generation technologies being introduced, Progress Rail began addressing industry challenges with Vale, along with the companies’ collective Brazilian engineering teams and Progress Rail’s US-based locomotive engineers, to deliver a solution with ample power and charging capabilities.
Progress Rail anticipates global availability of the new switcher locomotive in early 2021.
Progress Rail is one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers. Progress Rail delivers advanced EMD locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signaling, rail welding and Kershaw Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations. The company also offers advanced rail technologies, including data acquisition and asset protection equipment.