Projects around electric trains often attract attention. In Australia, for example, a company is leading a project called “Infinity Train” which will aim to manufacture a train that recharges itself to infinity thanks to gravitational energy.
An ecological alternative
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is an iron ore mining company based in Perth, Australia. It is one of the largest iron mining companies in the world. In a press release dated March 1, 2022, this company announced a new project aimed in particular at saving money on the operation of a particular mine.
Today, Fortescue Metals Group uses 54 diesel locomotives that travel on sixteen trains each measuring 2.8 kilometers in length. The system has the capacity to transport 34,404 tons of iron ore in 244 wagons. However, each year, these trains consumed no less than 82 million liters of fuel in 2021.
In order to replace this energy-intensive and polluting configuration, FMG is currently developing an “Infinity Train” and has acquired the company Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).
The project involves designing a train to transport iron ore without ever needing to be recharged . If the project comes to fruition, it will quite simply be the most efficient battery-electric locomotive in the world.
“High performance batteries and electrification systems are at the heart of what we do and now that we are part of the Fortescue family, this presents an exciting opportunity to develop new technologies as we work together to fight change. climate,” said WAE CEO Craig Wilson.
Managing to do without Diesel
For FMG, the elimination of Diesel and the emissions that come from it will go through a concept of regenerating electricity on loaded downhill sections. This will both recharge the train and avoid installing costly renewable energy production infrastructure.
In other words, the train will be able to recharge during the descent phases, and therefore during the braking of the journey thanks to the gravitational energy . After delivering the ore, the train will have the energy to travel back up to the mine.
FMG thus wishes to participate in the growth of more ecological industrial transport equipment . In addition, the company wants to achieve another goal, namely to do without Diesel completely by 2030.
Finally, if the Infinity Train project is not yet in place, other companies and observers are already thinking about implementing in place of similar projects . It is also a question of understanding whether or not this type of method could be suitable for other markets.