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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive

Date: 12/01/21 22:23
Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: pt199

http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/3e5706924b99c2e99ef1f023069802e9?s=50&d=identicon&r=GWabtec Seeks Zero Emission Locomotiveby csanders429

 Pittsburgh-based Wabtec is seeking to develop a locomotive that will not have greenhouse gas emissions.
As reported by Trains magazine on its website, company officials said at the RailTrends 2021 conference that such a product may be a “moonshot”  but they are still aiming toward it.

“The big question is what’s possible?” said Gina Trombley, Wabtec’s executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer.
A zero emissions locomotives won’t be developed overnight.
Trombley said a first step is to rehabilitate existing locomotives to lower their emissions and reduce fuel consumption. Another key will be the development of better batteries that will be used to power locomotives.

Date: 12/02/21 07:26
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: engineerinvirginia

A workable solution probably will not use batteries......I'm thinking some sort of giant hydrogen fuel cell....which aren't zero emission exactly....they put out water...which could make voluminous fog in the right weather conditions. While all this reseach will come up with new things.....in the end diesel power will not be abandoned in anyone's lifetime. The gadgets that have been produced so far have lacked any understanding of how locomotives actually work. Gensets have slow startup problems, and can't autoscale at a level that active switching requires, so railroads just make then run continiuously, negating much of their savings. The one all battery electric locomotive so far was a disaster an totally unmaintainable, and very slow to recharge....Locomotive availability has to approach 100% or it's not a good investment. 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/21 18:56 by engineerinvirginia.

Date: 12/02/21 10:34
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: callum_out

The CP/Ballard H2 unit is nothing more than a fuel cell genset in that the 2000 hp comes from a bunch of
200 hp fuel cell systems. Will work as a demo, not the approach for "real life". But H2 technology will be the
shortest path to zero emissions.


Date: 12/02/21 12:02
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: MSE

Just some facts: unless the power comes from hydro or nuclear, there is no such thing as a zero-emissions car or locomotive. 

Both solar and wind (the latter, especially) require generators to run 24/7 in the background because of solar and wind's unreliability. Those generators are powered by natural gas. 

And, right now, the US grid is straining to handle existing load, let alone the loads that will come from more electric vehicles. This will only get worse with time because we are foolishly taking nuclear off-line and building more wind and solar. What is need, immediately, generation that is reliable. In order of my preference: nuclear, hydro, gas. 

Date: 12/02/21 13:49
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: callum_out

People don't have a clue as to the conversion of a set of 4 ES44C4s into equivalent electrical use,
ah just throw a few solar panels on them and make it good. Never mind the 100 os so sets let that
that go thru Barstow in a day. 


Date: 12/03/21 11:34
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: coach

Hey Wabtech!  Want a "zero emissions" engine?  Then do what your predecessor used to do:  promote and build electric engines (again).  Not fuel cells.  Not batteries.  Electric, from an overhead wire.  Then we can get back to using real engines to haul real trains.  Everything else is a total waste of time.

Date: 12/03/21 17:18
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: engineerinvirginia

of course electricity from overhead wires...or even third rails.....has to be generated and that will be with oil, coal, natural gas....mostly....yes, there's wind....if it blows....hydro....if you are on a system that has a dam with a generator.....there is NO significant amount of power without emissions somewhere....if it can be obtained freely it will not be constant. 

Date: 12/03/21 19:36
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: callum_out

Not only isn't there enough electricity there's also not enough money...


Date: 12/04/21 13:59
Re: Wabtec Seeks Zero Emissions Locomotive
Author: dreese_us

I believe Wabtec will be working with GM on a Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered locomotive. There was an announcement made back in June unless these plans fell through. Funny how GM sold EMD and decided to join forces with their competitor on a alternative fueled locomotive.

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