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CN purchases Wabtec’s battery-electric locomotive

CN has purchased Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive (earlier post). CN’s Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad (B&LE) Company received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help with the purchase of the battery-electric locomotive.

CN FLXdrive copy

The Wabtec FLXdrive technology, with its 2.4MWh battery pack, can reduce train fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30%. The anticipated efficiencies and emission reductions from the technology will be significant and help open the door to new alternatives beyond the diesel-powered locomotives used today.

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 2020, CN’s actions to reduce emissions, mitigate climate risks and to develop the low-carbon economy resulted in CN being one of only three Canadian companies listed on CDP’s Climate A List. The continuing successful development and availability of innovative propulsion technology is part of a portfolio of carbon reduction initiatives.

In April 2021, the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) approved CN’s commitment to reduce scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 43% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year. CN furthermore commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel and energy related activities by 40% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year. CN’s Climate Action Plan and its new level of ambition target support the Paris Agreement.


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