Penn State University and Norfolk Southern Railroad have received a $400,000 Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Grant to continue their work in building an emissions-free locomotive.
Norfolk Southern will also contribute $590,000 in private sector funding to the partnership.
Work on the project will take place in Altoona, University Park, New Castle and Roanoke, Va., through December 2013.
"It's a key and visible component of our overall program to keep rail at the head of the list of environmentally friendly transportation modes," said Gerhard A. Thelen, Norfolk Southern Vice President Operations Planning and Support.
In 2008, Norfolk Southern, in coordination with Penn State and with support from U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, began the development of a prototype electric switcher locomotive.
The grant will allow researchers to continue exploring alternative battery technologies and apply them to a new hybrid locomotive.
"The work that Penn State and Norfolk Southern Railroad are doing together to design and develop a hybrid road locomotive is exactly the direction the transportation industry needs to be headed," said Shuster in announcing the grant. "This grant will create jobs around the region and allow this partnership to continue its work developing cutting edge technology.