Zero-emission 'infinity train' being developed by Australian company Fortescue Williams

Karel Novak, Published on 02/03/2022
Zero-emission 'infinity train' being developed by Australian company Fortescue Williams

The development was announced by the company just after it completed its acquisition of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).

The regenerating battery electric iron ore train project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.

"The Infinity Train has the capacity to be the world’s most efficient battery electric locomotive. The regeneration of electricity on the downhill loaded sections will remove the need for the installation of renewable energy generation and recharging infrastructure, making it a capital efficient solution for eliminating diesel and emissions from our rail operations," says Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines.

Fortescue’s current rail operations include 54 operating locomotives that haul 16 train sets, together with other on-track mobile equipment. Each train set is about 2.8 kilometres in length and has the capacity to haul 34,404 tonnes of iron ore in 244 ore cars. Fortescue’s rail operations consumed 82 million litres of diesel in financial year 2021 accounting for 11 per cent of Fortescue’s Scope 1 emissions. This diesel consumption and associated emissions will be eliminated once the Infinity Train is fully implemented across Fortescue’s operations, significantly contributing to Fortescue’s target to be diesel free by 2030.

Fortescue Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said “The Infinity Train will not only accelerate Fortescue’s race to reach net zero emissions by 2030, but also lower our operating costs, create maintenance efficiencies and productivity opportunities.

He added that this project, along with the acquisition of UK firm WAE, will help reverse the UK brain drain, retaining brilliant British engineers working here in the UK and contributing to the local economy.



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