Demonstrating a Hydrogen Locomotive for Short-line Rail Applications

GTI Energy and Sierra Northern Railway’s (SNR) are leading a nearly $4 million project for the California Energy Commission under their Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports (H2RAM) program to develop a hydrogen-fueled, zero-emissions locomotive that will reduce transportation air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. It will be demonstrated on SNR’s short-line operations, which serve the railyard and seaport in West Sacramento, a designated disadvantaged community.

GTI Energy and the project team will design, build, and demonstrate a switcher locomotive which integrates an advanced hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen storage, advanced battery, and systems control technologies to collectively provide a cleaner alternative to diesel-powered locomotives and further California’s environmental objectives.

Southern California Gas Company is providing funding support, as is the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI)—a five-year effort, led by GTI Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), to develop and demonstrate clean energy technologies and advance low-carbon solutions in challenging applications. The team of rail and hydrogen industry experts also includes Railpower Tech LLC, Ballard Power Systems, Optifuel Systems LLC, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, Valley Vision, Velocity Strategies, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

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