NORTH American Class 1 Canadian National (CN) and Wabtec have announced a contract to modernise an additional 60 locomotives in CN’s existing fleet.

Wabtec will modernise 60 Dash-9 locomotives to bring the total fleet modernised for CN to 110 locomotives. Work will include conversion from dc to ac traction, and will feature enhancements such as the FDL Advantage engine upgrade, a suite of digital solutions including Trip Optimizer, and equipping the locomotives with Locotrol distributed power.

The upgrades are expected to extend the life of the locomotives and provide benefits including fuel efficiency improvements of up to 18% through a combination of engine and digital technology enhancements, a more than 40% increase in reliability, and up to a 55% increase in tractive effort.

Overall, the locomotive modernisation programme is expected to enable CN to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50,000 tonnes. The programme will also reuse or recycle approximately 11,000 tonnes of steel.

“Modernising these locomotives cost-effectively improves the reliability of our existing fleet and contributes to reducing our rail carbon footprint,” says CN vice-president mechanical, Mr Mark Grubbs. “In addition to reducing the environmental impact of our own operations, it helps us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our customers.”