28 September 2009
Batteries ARE Included
Norfolk Southern unveils experimental electric locomotive.
Altoona Pennsylvania USA - With U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Congressman Bill Shuster in attendance, Norfolk Southern today unveiled the latest in alternative energy locomotive technology at its Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania. NS 999 is a prototype 1,500-horsepower switching locomotive that relies solely on rechargeable batteries for power.
"At Norfolk Southern we strongly subscribe to the view that sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint are solid business objectives that also provide enormous benefits to the communities we serve," said CEO Wick Moorman. "By utilizing regenerated kinetic energy of the train and with no diesel exhaust emissions, NS 999 achieves those goals. This prototype locomotive was developed by Norfolk Southern, with the help of an incredibly creative partnership, including the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Federal Railroad Administration, and The Pennsylvania State University, for which we are grateful. We must also recognize Congressman Bill Shuster, as without his active interest and participation in this project NS 999 would still be merely a concept."
"Today, the transportation sector currently accounts for just under a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than half of nitrogen oxide emissions, and almost three-quarters of our petroleum consumption. We need to change that," said Secretary LaHood. "By working together to develop alternative energy sources and innovative technologies like this electric locomotive, we will make transportation more sustainable and energy-efficient."
"Historically, Pennsylvania has had a tremendous history in railroading, and it remains my belief that our state can still have a bright future in rail if we take advantage of dynamic partnerships between the private and public sectors like the one that produced this locomotive," said Congressman Bill Shuster, the Ranking Republican on the Railroads Subcommittee. "What Norfolk Southern and Penn State are doing with Congress and Secretary LaHood's support is truly significant and will help usher in a new generation of green locomotives fueled by American ingenuity. Let's not forget about the great work done by the Juniata Locomotive Shop employees who did a superior job producing this engine. I am proud to have worked to secure funding for this project, and I look forward to seeing it working the rail lines soon."
Congressman Shuster secured $1.3 million in federal funding for the NS 999 project.
NS 999 is an entirely electric locomotive that uses a lead-acid energy storage system comprised of 1,080 12-volt batteries to operate in railroad switching applications without the use of a diesel engine and with zero exhaust emissions. The plug-in locomotive also can regenerate dynamic braking energy through a system provided by Brookville Equipment Company. The recovered dynamic braking energy continually replenishes the energy storage system, and uses this recovered energy for tractive effort in rail operations. The batteries are carefully monitored and controlled through an elaborate battery management system to assure safety and maximum battery life, and when fully charged NS 999 is able to operate three shifts before recharging is required.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is a leading North American transportation provider. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.