Wabtec to Modernize 330 Locomotives for Norfolk Southern

A train pulled by Norfolk Southern units passes through Tucson, Ariz., on March 1, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Norfolk Southern has placed an additional multi-year order from with Wabtec Corporation to modernize 330 locomotives, part of Norfolk Southern’s ongoing efforts to further improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from its fleet.

With each modernized locomotive, Norfolk Southern’s carbon emissions are reduced by more than 500 tons per year. The deal marks the third major modernization order from the railroad since 2015, making it the largest modernized fleet in North America, with more than 950 locomotives upon completion in 2025.

“Modernizing locomotives in our fleet will improve operational performance and reliability,” said Tom Schnautz, Vice President Advanced Train Control for Norfolk Southern. “Importantly, it will also help us achieve our science-based target of a 42% reduction in emissions intensity by 2034. Wabtec’s proven modernization program allows us to maximize the value of our locomotives, minimize the use of new materials, and reduce the environmental impact of our operations.”

Wabtec will modernize D9-44CW locomotives that are more than 20 years old and transform them into AC44C6Ms, which will add another 20 years of incremental life to each locomotive. The modernized locomotives will feature the FDL Advantage engine upgrade and a suite of digital solutions including Trip Optimizer, SmartHPT, and Distributed Power.

The modernizations will yield significant dividends per locomotive, including fuel efficiency improved by as much as 25 percent; a more than 40 percent increase in reliability; haulage ability increased by up to 55 percent; and a reduction of maintenance, repair, and overhaul expenses by 20 percent.

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