scroll back to top of page

Palmetto Railways, a division of S.C. Commerce, awarded more than $4 million to procure and retrofit two locomotives to electric power

Palmetto Railways, a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce), learned today it will receive a grant of up to $4,170,000 for its project to procure and retrofit two zero-emission, lithium battery electric powered locomotives and install associated charging technology.

This Palmetto Railways project is one of just 70 in 35 states and Washington, D.C. to be awarded funding for rail safety and rail supply chain upgrades through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Palmetto Railways will provide a 35% non-federal match.

The project will improve Palmetto Railway’s ability to meet current and anticipated demand by expanding locomotive capacity for its existing and future planned industries, while incorporating new technology that will:

  • Provide a large reduction in diesel emissions.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improve safety.

Once in use, the retrofitted locomotives will provide a foundation for deploying future electric powered locomotives in Palmetto Railways’ existing switching operations with a potential to further enhance the benefits listed above. Notably, these two electric powered locomotives will help maximize a cleaner and more energy efficient transfer and shipment of goods through Palmetto Railways’ existing North Charleston facilities along with the anticipated Navy Base Intermodal Facility which is currently under-construction with S.C. Ports Authority.

“We are in a time of great transformation – one that is innovatively changing production, logistics and transportation,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “The award of this grant to Palmetto Railways is just another indicator that South Carolina is leading the way in innovation and harnessing future technologies to power the future.”

“This is an exciting time for Palmetto Railways, our partners in North Charleston and our state,” said Palmetto Railways President and CEO Patrick McCrory. “This grant will allow us to support safe and efficient rail service for our existing and future clients with innovative technologies that help to reduce our environmental impact to our neighboring communities. Furthermore, this project provides additional resiliency to our local rail supply chain for our partners, customers and the South Carolina Ports Authority.”