By Railfan & Railroad Staff
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Pacific Harbor Line has agreed to try a brand new, battery-powered locomotive from Caterpillar’s Progress Rail. The six-axle locomotive will demonstrate the latest lithium-ion battery technology and battery management system, alongside AC traction and state-of-the-art electronics. The zero-emission locomotive, dubbed “Joule,” will be capable of 3,200 horsepower and will be rigorously tested in all types of service at PHL, officials said.
“Today’s announcement with PHL builds upon the excitement our team has witnessed in introducing a new battery-powered locomotive for yard and switching applications,” said Marty Haycraft, President and CEO of Progress Rail. “We look forward to continuing to address customer needs around the globe, including helping meet or exceed their ambitious environmental requirements and goals with the latest rolling stock technologies.”
The locomotive will be able to run for up to 24 hours. It is anticipated to arrive at PHL during the second half of 2021.
“PHL has always been in the forefront of demonstrating and acquiring successful new, low-emission technology. The Joule is the first battery-electric switcher locomotive designed by a major locomotive supplier for North America that appears robust enough for the demanding PHL environment,” said Otis Cliatt II, president of PHL. “As such, PHL is pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate this technology. What Progress Rail and PHL will learn from this demonstration will hopefully advance the prospects for zero-emission locomotive solutions in the San Pedro Bay ports.”