Fortescue has acquired UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), and to mark the purchase, the companies announced the development of a world-first, zero-emission “infinity train.” The regenerating battery-electric iron ore train project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery-electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload, the companies say.
Fortescue’s current rail operations include 54 operating locomotives that haul 16 train sets, together with other on-track mobile equipment. Each train set is about 2.8 kilometers in length and has the capacity to haul 34,404 tonnes of iron ore in 244 ore cars. Fortescue’s rail operations consumed 82 million liters of diesel in financial year 2021.
Fortescue’s studies and development costs for the Infinity Train are expected to be $50 million over the next two years and will be classified as operating cost efficiencies, with the studies to refine the capital estimate and schedule, the company says.