UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State and Norfolk Southern Railroad have received a $400,000 research and development grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) designed to continue research into building an emissions-free locomotive.
As part of the effort, Norfolk Southern will contribute an additional $590,000 to the partnership.
"The work that Penn State and Norfolk Southern Railroad are doing together to design and develop a hybrid locomotive is exactly the direction the transportation industry needs to be headed," said Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, who has supported the effort. "This grant will create jobs around the region and allow this partnership to continue its work developing cutting edge technology."
In 2008, Norfolk Southern, in coordination with Penn State and with help from Shuster, began developing a prototype electric switcher locomotive. The new FRA grant will allow researchers to continue exploring alternative battery technologies and apply them to a new hybrid road locomotive.
The battery technology designed by Penn State and Norfolk Southern will provide useful benchmarks for evaluating future alternative battery technologies in both switcher and line-of-road operations for energy savings and emissions reduction.
Work will take place at the University Park campus; Altoona, Pa.; New Castle, Pa.; and Roanoke, Va.; through December 2013.