FRA Joins Norfolk Southern in Research of Battery Powered Electric Locomotives

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is awarding a $50,000 grant to Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) to support the railroad’s effort to design a prototype battery powered electric locomotive which can reduce emissions and lower fuel costs.

The grant funds will be used to design the lead-acid battery packaging system and perform Failure Modes and Effects Analysis to address potential safety risks associated with the high voltages and electric current arising from large numbers of batteries cabled together.

The technology is being developed for locomotives used in rail yard switching operations. In addition, NS is providing $65,000 toward this project.