Intramotev deploys ‘world first’ self-propelled battery-electric railcar at Cumberland mine

Intramotev, the technology company building autonomous zero-emissions rail solutions, says it has successfully deployed the world’s first self-propelled battery-electric railcar in a traditional freight train.

In a major step forward, Intramotev has deployed its railcar retrofit, known as the ReVolt, at Iron Senergy’s Cumberland mine in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, USA. The car has run for over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) between the Cumberland Mine and its Alicia Harbor facility.

“We’re excited to deliver the fuel savings and environmental benefits of the ReVolt to our customer Iron Senergy,” Tim Luchini, Intramotev’s CEO, said. “Today’s news marks an important milestone in our work to decarbonise mining and freight transportation, and we’re just getting started.”

Iron Senergy CEO and owner, Justin Thompson, said: “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Intramotev to deploy their forward-thinking technology. We’re always searching for ways to double down on our commitment to innovation and sustainability, and this partnership helps accomplish that in a big way.”

Intramotev says it continues to build momentum with customer deployments in the mining sector. Later this year, the company will deploy its locomotive replacement, known as the TugVolt, at a calcium mine in northern Michigan, USA.

TugVolt is a proprietary kit that can retrofit/upfit existing rail cars to become battery-electric, while ReVolt captures waste energy in traditional trains via regenerative braking, and automated safety systems including gates and hatches. TugVolt can decouple to independently service first- and last-mile legs, providing the type of flexibility that, Luchini says, will allow the system to more readily compete with trucking. ReVolt, meanwhile, stays in the consist to capture energy via regenerative braking and reduce the overall diesel consumption of locomotives.