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Wabtec Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Rafael Santana earlier this week revealed plans for the "Freight 2030" project during testimony before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The project is designed to increase the use of freight rail as part of a larger effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The project involves Wabtec, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), which will work together on the Freight 2030 initiatives.
"Within the next nine years, we are committed to developing the technology to enable the expansion of freight rail utilization, accelerating the reduction of GHG emissions with battery and hydrogen powered locomotives, and enabling safer trains through a public-private partnership between industry, academia and the federal government," Santana said in his prepared testimony. "By working together, we can establish a research institute committed to developing and deploying advanced rail propulsion, logistics and safety technologies."
Santana was the only rail representative to address the committee during the hearing, which was held to explore private sector actions to develop and implement solutions to climate change, with an emphasis on the private sector.
The goal of Freight 2030 is to reinvent U.S. freight rail by developing the technology to accelerate decarbonization through the creation of zero-emission locomotives, and generate a 50% increase in freight-rail utilization and up to a 50% reduction in safety incidents, Santana said. The initiative also calls for Wabtec, CMU and G&W to create a Freight Rail Innovation Institute that Santana asked Congress to help fund.
"This will send a message to the entire transportation industry that together, the public and private sectors can help achieve the nation's vision of a competitive and sustainable American freight transportation network," Santana said.
Santana's full testimony can be read here.