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News Article

Union Pacific, Wabtec Sign Historic Locomotive Modernization Deal

By Antonio Gozain | Fri, 08/05/2022 - 16:15

Union Pacific signed a historic US$1 billion deal with Wabtec Corporation for 600 locomotive modernizations, which will feature a suite of digital solutions, reported several media outlets.

“Union Pacific is taking thoughtful, deliberate steps to reduce our environmental impact and to help our partners improve theirs. Wabtec’s modernization program helps make our existing fleet more fuel efficient, capable and reliable. The resulting increased tractive power enables us to move more freight with fewer locomotives, which improves efficiency and reduces emissions,” said Lance Fritz, Chairman, President and CEO, Union Pacific.

Union Pacific’s modernization initiative comes as the industry works to meet growing sustainability demands on the rail network by extending the capabilities of locomotive fleets. The US$1 billion agreement is the largest investment in modernized locomotives in rail industry history. The company is currently on a path to meet its emissions target to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from a 2018 baseline, and on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Wabtec will modernize 525 Union Pacific’s AC4400 and AC6000 locomotives, in addition to 75 Dash-9 locomotives. The renewal includes digital solutions, engine upgrades and next-generation control technology. The modernizations will provide about 350 tons of carbon reduction per locomotive per year, said Union Pacific. The total order will enable the freight-hauling company to reduce emissions by about 210,000 tons per year. In addition, the renewals support the circular economy, with over half the locomotive’s weight being reused.

“Modernizations are a game changer for our customers offering the ability to realize significantly more value out of existing locomotive assets,” said Rafael Santana, President and CEO, Wabtec. “By customizing these solutions for our customers and installing state-of-the-art technology, we are helping our customers realize outcomes including increased tractive effort, fuel efficiency, reliability and adhesion, which reduce maintenance, repair and overhaul expenses. These fleet benefits will support Union Pacific’s sustainable service improvements and long-term growth strategy,” he added.

Union Pacific is a freight-hauling railroad that operates 8,300 locomotives over 51,800 km routes in 23 US states west of Chicago and New Orleans. Union Pacific is the second largest railroad in the US and has a growing business team in Mexico. It is the only railroad serving all six US/Mexico gateways. In Mexico, Union Pacific has offices in Guadalajara, Irapuato, Mexico City and Monterrey.

On the other hand, Wabtec is the world’s leader in rail technology. The company manufactures products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles. Wabtec focuses on creating a more sustainable freight and passenger transportation network based on safety and innovation.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, Wabtec, Union Pacific
Photo by:   Unsplash
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst