Critical Design Factors in the Development of a Hybrid Electric Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System
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Hybrid electric propulsion systems have been applied to a range of vehicles, from compact passenger cars to transit buses and rail vehicles. These systems offer improved performance, increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UTCEM) is developing a hybrid electric propulsion system for high speed non-electric passenger locomotives as part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Next Generation High Speed Rail program. The Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System (ALPS) project, introduced at the Fall VTC-2003 conference, seeks to demonstrate technology for a fossil fueled hybrid-electric locomotive propulsion system capable of operation at speeds up to 150 mph on existing infrastructure with acceleration comparable to current generation electric locomotives. Lightweight, high performance fossil fueled locomotives will facilitate the expansion of high speed passenger rail by providing energy efficiency and trip times comparable to electrified systems without the $3-5M per track mile cost of electrification.