Progress Rail and PHL sign agreement for battery locomotive

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, has reached an agreement with Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) to supply its new EMD® Joule battery electric locomotive for a demonstration project operating in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. The new, six-axle locomotive will feature the latest lithium-ion battery technology and battery management system, alongside AC traction and state-of-the-art electronics.

The zero-emission, zero-idle and low noise EMD® Joule locomotive, capable of 3,200 horsepower in this application, will be rigorously tested in all types of service at PHL.

“Today’s announcement with PHL builds upon the excitement our team has witnessed in introducing a new battery-powered locomotive for yard and switching applications,” said Marty Haycraft, President and CEO of Progress Rail. “We look forward to continuing to address customer needs around the globe, including helping meet or exceed their ambitious environmental requirements and goals with the latest rolling stock technologies.”

“PHL has always been in the forefront of demonstrating and acquiring successful new, low emission technology. The Joule is the first battery electric switcher locomotive designed by a major locomotive supplier for North America that appears robust enough for the demanding PHL environment,” said Otis Cliatt II, president of PHL. “As such, PHL is pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate this technology. What Progress Rail and PHL will learn from this demonstration will hopefully advance the prospects for zero emission locomotive solutions in the San Pedro Bay ports.”

According to the Port of Long Beach, zero emission cargo movement is the future. “We’re very supportive of this effort by Pacific Harbor Line and Progress Rail. PHL is already a national leader in sustainable rail operations, and no one should be surprised to see the company take yet another step forward,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. With its own zero emission cargo-mover tests and this new project, the Port and its partners are once again demonstrating leadership in developing and advancing clean air technology.

“Pacific Harbor Line has a long history of using the cleanest rail technology available to serve this port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As each of our cargo terminals use PHL services for its on-dock rail, we commend Pacific Harbor Line leadership for taking a prominent role with respect to demonstrating zero emission rail technology.”

The locomotive includes battery capacity of 2.4 megawatt hours, for a run time of up to 24 hours, depending upon charging and utilization. It is anticipated for delivery in the second half of 2021.

Example rail car image

About Progress Rail

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, is one of the largest integrated and diversified providers of rolling stock and infrastructure solutions and technologies for global rail customers. Progress Rail delivers advanced EMD locomotives and engines, railcars, trackwork, fasteners, signaling, rail welding and Kershaw Maintenance-of-Way equipment, along with dedicated locomotive and freight car repair services, aftermarket parts support and recycling operations. The company also offers advanced rail technologies, including data acquisition and asset protection equipment. Progress Rail’s deep industry expertise, together with the support of Caterpillar, ensures a commitment to quality through innovative solutions for the rail industry. Progress Rail has a network of nearly 200 locations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia, China, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit and follow @Progress_Rail on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Pacific Harbor Line

Pacific Harbor Line, Inc. ( provides railroad switching services to customers in the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which together form the largest container port in the United States. PHL has 189 employees and dispatches all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains within the ports. PHL is a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, which operates six local and regional freight railroads in seven states.

Progress Rail Contact:
Barbara Jansen, Marketing Director
+1-256-505-5054 and

Pacific Harbor Line Contact:
Otis Cliatt II, President
+1-310-834-4594 and