Wabtec, a locomotive manufacturer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has expanded its reach to Brazil. The company has received an order from Vale, a prominent mining company, for three of its FLXdrive electric locomotives. These locomotives will be used to transport ore from the largest iron mine in the world to steel plants along a 550-mile railroad route. The journey will conclude at the port of Ponta da Madeira in São Luís.
The railway is a component of the Greater Carajás Project, overseen by Vale. This project includes the largest open pit iron ore mine in the world, situated in the mountainous rainforest region of Pará in northern Brazil.
This train is the appropriate size for the job. It usually needs three or four diesel locomotives to pull 330 railcars carrying 45,000 tons, making it the longest iron ore train globally.
Two locomotives known as “dynamic helpers” are used for a portion of the journey in Açailândia, Maranhão, specifically for an uphill climb spanning approximately 87 miles.
The Vale train in Brazil will be converted into a hybrid by replacing two dynamic helpers with three electric locomotives, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Wabtec and Vale are collaborating on three electric locomotives that will use regenerative braking to reduce Vale’s carbon emissions by 25 million liters of diesel. This is equivalent to the emissions of approximately 14,000 passenger cars annually. The goal is to eliminate the railroad’s emissions in the future with battery power and alternative fuels.
Reference- Wabtec Online Newsroom, PR Newswire, Interesting Engineering, Clean Technica