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Rail News: Sustainability

Metra issues challenge to create battery-powered, zero-emission locomotive

Request for proposals will seek to retrofit diesel engines with batteries.
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Chicago's Metra is challenging the industry to create a zero-emission commuter locomotive by converting an older engine from diesel to one powered solely by batteries.

At its April meeting, Metra's board approved a request for proposals (RFP) seeking manufacturers to propose solutions to convert three of its older F40PH-3 diesel locomotives into zero-emission, battery-powered units. 

The RFP will be issued in the upcoming days; the contract is expected to be awarded in the fall and the first solutions are anticipated about 30 months later, according to a news release.

Metra estimates that replacing three older diesel locomotives with zero-emission batteries would reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by more than 100 tons and particulate matter emissions by more than two tons annually.