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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Aurizon Operations Limited


    Fortitude Valley, Queensland

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 December 2023

    End date

    2 November 2026

  • Project Partners
    Alta Battery Technology Pty Ltd


Aurizon will develop a 1.8 MWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) prototype battery electric tender (BET) to power a modified existing 2300 class diesel-electric locomotive (DEL) and develop and install associated charging infrastructure. 


The Project is seeking to trial first-of-a-kind BET technology as a first step towards full electrification of Aurizon’s rail haul fleet. Heavy haul (freight) rail contributes 4% of Australia’s transport emissions and 0.8% of national emissions (4 Mt of CO2 per annum) with 90% of heavy haul rail operations utilising diesel locomotives. To date, decarbonisation efforts within the industry have been focused on fuel reductions, and the use of alternative fuels. BEL (battery electric locomotive) technology is at an early stage of development, uneconomic in comparison to diesel-electric and unsuited to the long, remote rail corridors in Australia. The Project represents an opportunity to catalyse the development of step-change reduction in diesel usage and regenerative energy captured, as well as decarbonise heavy haulage rail operations. 


The Project will consist of development, testing and review of the operation of a BET on an operational haul. The 1.8 MWh LFP BET will be attached to a modified diesel locomotive, running “short haul” routes and charged at one end of the route. 


Aurizon is seeking to be a market leader in developing and testing a zero-emission capable fleet with the aim of establishing the pathway to economic viability. Key learnings of this will be shared across the Australian rail industry, establishing the market and driving further innovation in zero-emissions rail technologies. Broader implementation of the BET across rail operators will pave the way for increased use of renewable energy resulting in significant reductions in carbon emissions. 

Last updated
08 March 2024
Last updated 08 March 2024
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