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PHL to test new electric locomotive at California ports

(Show left to right) Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, Anacostia Rail Holdings CEO Peter Gilbertson, FRA Administrator Amit Bose and PHL President Otis Cliatt stand in front of the first zero-emission, battery-electric locomotive that will serve the San Pedro Bay ports.
Photo – Pacific Harbor Line


Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) rolled out a new zero-idle EMD® Joule battery-electric locomotive that will be tested as part of PHL's service to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.

Built by Progress Rail, the locomotive was unveiled as part of a ceremony honoring nine new PHL locomotive engineers that will help move millions of shipping containers at the ports. The unit recently arrived to begin a year of testing and continue PHL's efforts to advance zero-emission locomotive solutions, PHL officials said in a press release.

PHL provides rail transportation, maintenance and train dispatching at the ports. In addition to switching approximately 40,000 freight cars annually, the short line serves nine on-dock intermodal terminals handling more than 2 million containers a year.

PHL currently operates a fleet of Tier 3 and Tier 4 locomotives using 100% renewable diesel fuel.

Among those attending the ceremony were Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

"PHL is an integral part of our operations, connecting each of our cargo terminals to the nation’s rail network. In addition to a long history of using the cleanest rail technology available to serve our port, we’re proud to partner with PHL as it develops the workforce of the future," said Seroka.

"Recruiting, training and retaining quality employees is essential to our service to the nation’s supply chain. The nine engineers who graduated … are joining a skilled workforce that operates safely in a challenging environment,” said Peter Gilbertson, CEO of Anacostia Rail Holdings, parent company of PHL.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/5/2023