Wabtec: Indian, European, ESG Initiatives

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Wabtec photo

Wabtec Corp. marked delivery of its 500th Evolution Series Locomotive to Indian Railways (IR) at the company’s plant in Marhowra, Bihar; joined a European rail freight development project; and issued its 2022 Sustainability Report.

The 500th locomotive for IR is a 4,500-hp dual-cab unit. To date, Wabtec has delivered 438 of those models and 62 6,000-hp, single-cab unit. These locomotives are digitally enabled and comply with international emission standard UIC1. They are part of a 2015 $2.5 billion agreement for the Government of India’s Public Private Partnership “Make in India” program to develop and supply 1,000 fuel-efficient, emission-compliant diesel-electric Evolution Series locomotives. IR  is using the locomotives for heavy-haul and container operations.

In Europe, Wabtec, SNCF (French National Railways) and regional operator RDT13 (Régie des Transports des Bouches du Rhône) launched the MONITOR Project, the first technology initiative of the French Rail Freight of the Future (4F) coalition to accelerate development of Europe’s rail freight industry. The MONITOR Project focuses on four technologies radio communication among railcars, brake and bogie (truck) monitoring, and automated brake testing. It involves equipping railcars with sensors to monitor and prevent the risks of derailment and UDEs (undesired emergency brake applications), and to reduce train inspection time. “Ultimately, it could help reduce maintenance costs and contribute to the European Union’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” Wabtec said.

The French government funded the 42-month MONITOR project as part of France 2030, an initiative of ADEME, the French agency for ecological transition. It is the latest in a series of freight innovation projects involving Wabtec in Europe. The company is also a founding member of Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (ERJU), which is aimed at developing fully digitalized, interoperable, high-capacity, sustainable rail freight operations. 

In related news, Wabtec released its 2022 Sustainability Report highlighting the company’s progress on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. The report (downloadable below) details the company’s climate action plan, which includes., among other efforts, setting a new near-term absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, from a baseline of 2019; and committing to disclose Wabtec’s Scope 3 GHG emissions this year and set near-term targets next year for categories of Scope 3 GHG emissions.

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