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Alstom to share its industry-leading expertise in green mobility with New York’s Long Island Rail Road

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Samuel Miller

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26 April 2021 – Alstom has signed a Product Test Agreement with Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in New York, the busiest commuter railroad in North America, to explore the potential application of one of Alstom’s innovative and environmentally-friendly traction technologies.

Specifically, Alstom and LIRR will work together over an eight-month period to validate the feasibility of converting the railroad’s M-7 cars to battery-operated electric multiple units (BEMUs) and assess their operational viability on the railroad’s Port Jefferson and Oyster Bay branch lines.  The units could potentially replace the use of diesel locomotives on the railroad’s non-electrified lines and allow passengers to travel to their destinations without having to change trains.

“As the United States focuses on the role of infrastructure, notably sustainable mobility, in its economic recovery, it is especially meaningful to be entering into an agreement with Long Island Rail Road to study an energy-efficient, eco-designed traction alternative that could be tailored to meet the railroad’s unique operational needs.  We’re proud of our innovative technologies which are helping railroads around the world meet their environmental commitments and look forward to potentially bringing the first battery-powered commuter trains to North America,” said Jérôme Wallut, President, Alstom Americas. 

As a leader in green mobility, Alstom offers a range of solutions for reducing CO2 emissions and pollution in the railway sector, among them battery-powered trains and hydrogen trains. Both technologies provide benefits to the environment, operators, passengers and the general public alike. Within their applicability range, they offer efficient alternatives for non-electrified lines. They can reduce harmful emissions in comparison to traditional diesel locomotives or diesel multiple units, improve operability due to fleet standardization and provide opportunities to combine electrified and non-electrified networks. Furthermore, these solutions reduce noise and vibrations, increasing passenger comfort and providing a quiet environment for residents in communities along the railway.  Alstom was the first rail company in the world to launch a hydrogen train onto the market and into commercial service.

The M-7 electric multiple units in operation at LIRR were manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, which is now part of Alstom.  The M-7 cars make up the majority of LIRR’s fleet and after nearly 20 years of operation, continue to exceed the railroad’s reliability goals.