Union Pacific announces plans for battery-electric engines

January 28, 2022 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific announced Friday that it will spend $100 million to buy 20 battery-electric engines in the next two years.

The purchase is part of the company’s plan to reduce its environmental footprint, with a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, CEO Lance Fritz said in a statement.

The first engines are expected to arrive in 2023, with full delivery by 2024.

Union Pacific will test the locomotives at rail yards in Nebraska and California to determine how they perform in cold and warm weather.

Those tests will allow railroad officials to determine how to deploy the locomotives across its 32,000 miles of track from the central U.S. to the west coast.

Progress Rail, a division of Caterpillar, will manufacture the locomotives.

The railroad said preliminary estimates show deploying 10 battery-electric locomotives could eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon pollution, which is the equivalent of removing 800 cars from the highway.