The world’s first battery-electric freight train unveiled by Wabtec, the Pittsburgh-based rail freight company, is a step forward in developing zero emissions technology to move the 1.7bn tons of goods shipped on US railroads each year. Railfreight's environmental benefits have been undermined by using diesel fuel, but Wabtec hopes the FLXdrive will change this dynamic. Battery-electric locomotives could cut emissions by 300 tons a year internationally if more goods were shipped by train rather than truck. The new battery system drives the axles of the train and uses kinetic energy of the train’s braking to partially recharge the battery.

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