A new environmentally-friendly locomotive will shortly operate the Talleyrand Marine Terminal at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT).
The unit is one of eight locomotives nationwide being converted from diesel to battery-powered through funding provided by Kansas-based Watco Rail Services and a U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) grant.
The U.S. DOT’s FRA awarded Watco, through its sponsor, the Kansas Department of Transportation, $15.7 million to convert the locomotives.
The units will be deployed nationwide to Watco’s short-line railroads with switching capabilities, including one that will be used at the JAXPORT Terminal Railroad (JXPT) in Jacksonville.
Watco Assistant Vice President Curtis Sloan, said: “This is a big deal for us and a big deal for the community. Over 20 years, this will save nearly 800,000 gallons of diesel fuel and prevent over 70,000 tonnes of emissions.”
The new locomotive will replace an older diesel-powered one in Jacksonville in around two years. The enhancements will increase system and service performance while also increasing resilience by lowering emissions and maintenance expenses.
JAXPORT Chief Commercial Officer, Robert Peek, said: “The transportation and logistics industries are continuously making improvements toward cleaner and greener methods to move cargo.
“As part of our strategic plan, we have incorporated eco-friendly infrastructure at our terminals and support our port partner’s sustainability goals that are enhancing the global supply chain.”
In August, Florida Legislators presented the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) with a $30 million check during the port’s monthly Board of Directors meeting to purchase two new container cranes for the port’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.