BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.

Moderators: AMTK84, MEC407

mtuandrew
Posts: 6009
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:48 pm

Was not expecting to see this press release:

http://www.bnsf.com/news-media/railtalk ... otive.html
BNSF LEADS THE CHARGE ON TESTING BATTERY-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE

BNSF and project partners are developing and will soon begin testing a battery-electric high-horsepower road locomotive (the type that moves freight trains from Point A to Point B). BNSF and other railroads have tested low-horsepower battery-electric locomotives in rail yards for years, but mainly for switching freight cars.

...

In 2018, BNSF and Wabtec (formerly GE Transportation) joined forces to begin developing a 100-percent battery-electric road locomotive prototype that works with conventional diesel locomotives to make a battery-electric hybrid consist. (Consist refers to when two or more locomotives are coupled together.) Performance testing of the hybrid is expected to begin in late 2020.
Sounds like it’s based off the ES44AC, but with 50,000 Li-ion batteries replacing the GEVO-12 prime mover. Kind of a road slug but with regenerative braking and power boost.

es80ac
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:07 pm

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by es80ac » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:29 pm

Hope this does not mean the railroads will be springing up catenary all over the place in the future. Eletrified railroad certainly destroy the view and ambiance.

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10921
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by MEC407 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:57 am

No catenary. The batteries will be recharged by the dynamic brakes.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

roc
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:11 pm

Wabtec's BPL: Not an ordinary electric

Post by roc » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:33 am

Please feel free to correct.

Wabtec Battery-Powered Electric. If my math is right, a 2400Kw battery set can produce max 4400HP for 44 minutes. The interesting thing here is that these and similar mobile packs can be powered by wood pellets, wind, gas peaking, wind, solar — it's our choice.

Of choice, they can also be powered the ups and downs mountains throughout the nation. California, North Carolina, or Kane, PA's in n' out of town grades. Yes, perhaps a little pie in the sky, but the potential's surrounding rail, renewables is amazing.

Natural disasters? Drop a couple of these or similar units into the zones, logistics center to power, and/or strategically located microgrids.

I love these kind of technologies.

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... locomotive

mp15ac
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:05 am
Location: Long Island

Re: Wabtec's BPL: Not an ordinary electric

Post by mp15ac » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:10 am

Shouldn't this has been posted in the GE forums? Wabtec bought the GE locomotive division, not EMD's.
The light at the end of the tunnel may be the headlight of an on-coming train.

mtuandrew
Posts: 6009
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:01 am

The whole point of this locomotive seems to be to eliminate the need for catenary. Great news for California on Tehachapi and Cajon Passes, especially if BNSF needs helper sets there. Same for Stevens and Stampede Passes in Washington.

I wonder if they’ll be able to be precharged at the yard, like plug-in hybrids can be charged at home. Even if BNSF is able to get diesel at $2/gallon, that can’t compete with electricity per kilowatt-hour (horsepower-hour.)

bostontrainguy
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:14 am

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by bostontrainguy » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:33 am

mtuandrew wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:01 am
The whole point of this locomotive seems to be to eliminate the need for catenary.
Don't really think this is the goal. No one is seriously talking about electrifying major freight routes. It's a battery powered freight locomotive that will supplement road diesels initially and maybe eventually even replace fossil fuel units someday. I'll admit that this idea seemed crazy to me initially but who knows, maybe it will work. I thought CNG was the next logical step.

spRocket
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:44 pm
Location: Mokena, IL

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by spRocket » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:19 pm

If it isn't already being considered, it might be worth exploring the possibility of running cables, slug-style, between the battery loco and the diesels in the consist. That way, energy from dynamic brakes over the entire consist could go to the batteries instead of resistor grids (which would still be available if the batteries were fully-charged).
When it's a tie at the railroad crossing, you lose.

mtuandrew
Posts: 6009
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: BNSF/Wabtec Battery-Electric Road Locomotive

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:23 pm

Yeah, I know no one has seriously considered catenary since the Powder River Extension, otherwise the BM&LP would have had many more copycat heavy-haul coal roads over the years. The only place I could feasibly see catenary having been seriously considered is California, and then for primarily regulatory reasons. (It would save money in the very long run, but not for many decades and not without governmental assistance.)

I don’t know if CNG/LNG is dead, but it seems like a pipe dream to me. Despite being dirt-cheap and readily available along every major Class 1 road, CNG is a low-density fuel and LNG requires specialized facilities. If I were in charge of motive power at one of those roads, I’d be taking a page from Elon Musk and skipping straight to battery storage technology too, even knowing it’ll take a decade to come to fruition. In states and localities with higher emissions standards* I’d use my expanding Tier 4 and Tier 3+ rebuild fleet as battery slug tenders until I had practical battery-electrics and charging facilities available; I wouldn’t concentrate on LNG since the shops don’t have service facilities for it.

If we are talking renewable energy initiatives rather than emissions or fuel savings, I’d concentrate on soy and biomass-based biodiesel. Soy in particular is dirt-cheap and rotting in farm fields with the trade war, and produces a fairly low-emissions fuel besides. It’s a high-density fuel comparable to regular diesel, and one that requires no new facilities and practically no equipment modifications.

* in addition to various other environmental harms, the current administration is attempting to Federalize all emissions standards and keep California (et al) from independently setting its own stricter standards. That might change railroads’ strategies in the LA Basin for instance.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unnecessary quoting

User avatar
GOLDEN-ARM
Posts: 2763
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:53 pm
Location: " LVRR CRANFORD STATION, 1962"

Re: Wabtec's BPL: Not an ordinary electric

Post by GOLDEN-ARM » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:52 pm

MOVED FROM EMD FORUM.

CLamb
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:29 pm
Location: Scotch Plains, NJ

Re: Wabtec's BPL: Not an ordinary electric

Post by CLamb » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:11 am

It's key feature is that it can save energy otherwise wasted in dynamic braking. What would be really good is if it could to wired up to all engines so that the dynamic braking of all engines is used to re-charge the batteries. How much of the braking on freight runs is done using dynamic brakes?

mmi16
Posts: 1027
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: USA

Re: Wabtec's BPL: Not an ordinary electric

Post by mmi16 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:52 pm

In the 21st Century, my understanding is that Dynamic Braking is being taught as the primary braking method (since there are no longer manned cabooses where people could be killed from slack action). With the carriers using a increasing amount of DPU motive power the slack action within trains is being attenuated. Air brakes are to be used when Dynamic do not give the required amount of retardation.
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unnecessary quoting
Never too old to have a happy childhood!

Return to “General Electric”