Logistics News

Pacific National begins loco fleet regeneration

Rail giant acquires new UGL freight locomotives in line with ESG strategy


Pacific National is hailing a significant recent investment in its haulage capabilities, commissioning 50 new C44 Evolution freight locomotives.

Under a $297 million contract, UGL will design and manufacture the fleet in Newcastle.

The first of their kind in Australia, the new locos will have lower emissions and greater fuel efficiency, thereby helping deflect environmental criticism from other transport modes.

Pacific National notes the procurement supports its environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, notably the upgrade of its fleet over five years.

“The C44 Evolution locomotives will be among the most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and environmentally compatible diesel locomotives in Australia,” PN said.

Once rolled out, Pacific National expects its emissions reduction will equate to 15,000 tonnes a year, with a CO2 reduction of 300 tonnes per locomotive a year.

According to Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah, the C44 Evolution Series units will form part of the company’s ongoing fleet rejuvenation program providing significant ESG benefits to both Pacific National and its customers.

“This is a key piece of our locomotive fleet strategy and directly aligns with our ESG strategy,” Scurrah said.

“It will assist Pacific National with boosting service reliability, reducing emissions and fuel consumption while increasing our ability to respond to the growing demand for future rail freight capacity.”

The new locos feature Wabtec technology to reduce emissions, fuel consumption and maintenance costs, and increase reliability.

Read about Lindsay’s link with Pacific National, here

“This is an exciting time for Australia’s largest private rail freight company and will mean Pacific National can continue to deliver what matters to our customers with the first of the new locomotives scheduled to be delivered in late 2023,” Scurrah said.

The locos are expected to meet and surpass a number of Australian and global emissions measurements including the stringent US Tier 3 standards for particulate matter.

“UGL’s unique position as Australia’s only manufacturer and maintainer of Australian-made locomotives allows us to ensure a strong home-grown supply chain and ongoing local employment,” UGL MD Doug Moss said.

“The C44 Evolution locomotive is better for the environment with lower emissions and better fuel efficiency than anything Australia has seen before.”

Initially they will be deployed across Pacific National’s intermodal/interstate operations, supporting its planned capacity increase of 25 per cent over the next four years.

They are also destined for the future Inland Rail.

With Pacific National’s strong focus on improving the efficiency of its locomotives and the superior technology on-board, each locomotive will have the capacity to simulate and optimise the locomotive to increase energy efficiency and safety.


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