Wabtec, Carnegie Mellon to create railroad technologies

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Wabtec, a provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, and Carnegie Mellon University recently signed an agreement to create technologies that will decarbonize freight rail transport, improve freight safety, and generate greater rail network utilization.

The agreement will focus on powering locomotive fleets with alternative energy sources and advancements to current signaling systems and digital technologies.

Wabtec also announced an agreement with Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), which owns or leases 116 freight railroads, to increase rail utilization across North America and pursue zero-emission battery and hydrogen freight strategies.

“This partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and Genesee & Wyoming further strengthens our efforts to decarbonize global rail transportation and will significantly increase freight rail utilization, efficiency, and safety throughout the rail network,” Rafael Santana, Wabtec president and CEO, said. “The transportation sector is at a critical inflection point. With technologies providing increased battery and hydrogen power capacity, we have the potential to eliminate up to 120 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year in North America.”

The three entities will create the Freight Rail Innovation Institute. The goal will be to develop technology that increases freight rail utilization and improves safety by 50 percent by 2030, and to develop zero-emission locomotives.