Union Pacific Unveils Industry’s Largest Ever Investment in Locomotive Modernisation

Union Pacific has announced the rail industry’s largest ever investment in locomotive modernisation.

The railroad company has signed a deal valued at over one billion USD (986.4 million EUR) with Wabtec to modernise 525 of its AC4400 and AC6000 locomotives, as well as 75 Dash-9 locomotives.

Deliveries will begin next year.

Wabtec chosen to modernise 600 Union Pacific locomotives
Wabtec chosen to modernise 600 Union Pacific locomotives.

Wabtec will equip the locomotives with a number of different digital solutions including FDL advantage engine upgrades and modular control architecture.

These updates will help extend the locomotives’ lives and provide a variety of benefits. These include increasing reliability by more than 80% and haulage ability by over 55%.

The modernisation efforts will also improve fuel efficiency by up to 18%, reducing the carbon emissions of each locomotive by 350 tons a year.

In addition, the modernisations support the circular economy as over half a locomotive’s weight of steel – roughly 70,000 tons – will be reused and recycled.

Lance Fritz, Chairman, President and CEO of Union Pacific, said:

“Union Pacific is taking thoughtful, deliberate steps to reduce our environmental impact and to help our partners improve theirs.

“Wabtec’s modernisation program helps make our existing fleet more fuel efficient, capable and reliable. The resulting increased tractive power enables us to move more freight with fewer locomotives, which improves efficiency and reduces emissions.”

This deal is the third major order from Union Pacific since 2018.

By 2025, 1,030 locomotives will have been modernised.

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