We’ve covered plenty of plug-in hybrid electric cars, and now Norfolk Southern Corp. is extending the same technology to locomotives with its prototype battery-powered train, the NS 999. The 1,500 horsepower switching train is powered exclusively by a series of 1,080 lead-acid 12-volt batteries. The best part – since the NS 999 doesn’t have a diesel engine, it releases zero emissions.
The train, developed in conjunction with the US Department of Energy, the Federal Railroad Administration, and Penn State, recharges its batteries during braking. When fully juiced up, the locomotive can operate three shifts before recharging.
The $1.3 million NS 999 may just be a prototype now, but it could radically cut down on the railroad system’s carbon footprint if widely deployed. The transportation sector in the US accounts for nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s hope the NS 999′s plug-in technology is commercialized before the US expands the national railroad system.
Via Boston Herald