Alstom and Long Island Rail Road Partner to Explore Battery Traction

Alstom has signed a product test agreement with New York’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to explore the opportunities for converting the commuter line’s M-7 railcars to battery traction.

The two parties would examine the feasibility of running battery electric multiple units (BEMUs) on the Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branch lines over an eight-month period.

Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road

If viable, the units could replace diesel locomotives on Long Island Rail Road’s non-electrified lines; furthermore, passengers would be able to reach all of their destinations without having to change trains. The M-7 trains are currently electric multiple units.

Jérôme Wallut, President, Alstom Americas, said:

“As the United States focuses on the role of infrastructure, notably sustainable mobility, in its economic recovery, it is especially meaningful to be entering into an agreement with Long Island Rail Road to study an energy-efficient, eco-designed traction alternative that could be tailored to meet the railroad’s unique operational needs. We’re proud of our innovative technologies which are helping railroads around the world meet their environmental commitments and look forward to potentially bringing the first battery-powered commuter trains to North America.”

Battery-powered trains have the advantage of reducing carbon emissions at the point of use. They can also deliver operability improvements over diesel counterparts by allowing services to run seamlessly across electrified and non-electrified networks.

The M-7 EMUs were manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, which is now part of Alstom.

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