Wabtec Sends Electric Train Love Letter To World’s Largest Iron Mine

The US locomotive maker Wabtec has been spreading the electric train message far beyond its home base of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That now includes Brazil, where the leading mining firm Vale has just ordered up three of Wabtec’s FLXdrive zero emission locomotives to ply a 550-mile railroad, pulling loads of ore from the world’s biggest iron mine…

The size of the ore train matches the chore in hand. The trip normally requires three diesel locomotives, and sometimes four, to pull 330 railcars carrying a total of 45,000 tons, making it the longest iron ore train in the world.

With an assist from regenerative braking, Wabtec and Vale expect the three electric locomotives to cut 25 million liters of diesel from Vale’s carbon footprint, representing the emissions of about 14,000 passenger cars per year.