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Canada awarding $25K to project to develop rail engine capable of running on blends of hydrogen and diesel

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, announced an investment of $25,000 for a University of Windsor project called “Hydrogen Enabled Low-Emissions and Fuel Efficient Diesel Engine Combustion Technology for Clean Locomotives”.

The project will help to develop an experimental diesel engine that is capable of running on blends of hydrogen and diesel fuel. This technology has the potential to reduce air pollution from rail diesel engines significantly.

The award is under Canada’s Clean Rail Academic Grant Program, which provides funding to support academic research programs that are developing technologies and practices to reduce air emissions from the rail sector. Under Round 5 of the Program, 10 research projects will receive a grant of up to $25,000.

Also under this round of awards, the University of Waterloo will receive funding for a hydrogen hybrid locomotive, while the University of British Columbia will receive funding for a Hardware-in-the-loop simulation of hybrid hydrogen fuel cell/battery powertrains under real railway duty cycles.



At $25K (CAN) this must be a joke. It cost over $1B to send this Minister in Space.


Actually, the idea of injecting small amounts of hydrogen into the intake to clean up an engine's emissions is old hat. So much has already been done elsewhere they don't have to spend much more to try it in a new application.


The only way to clean up the air is to not burn fossil fuels...period! Use the hydrogen in a Fuel Cell and quit trying to prolong the demise of ICEs.


SOFC/ combustion pollution.


Rightly said Lad. With Fed Elections coming, we will probably see more of this type of fossil fuel support.


I would guess @ $25K it's not a new engine but a scrapper. The new is to say new to rail application. So is it a diesel electric or something historic like a starter motor or mail car.
Either which way it can do no harm and as a university project shared amongst the undergrads? will be a nice little demonstration project.
The diesel pilot/ ignition H.D. engine with hydrogen delivered thru air intake is not new but interesting.


@Lad & @SJC

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. To not burn fossil fuels would take electrifying the nation's rail network but Canada has the fifth-longest rail transport network (46,552 km) in the world. The top 10 countries by rail transport network size are: United States, China, Russia, India, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa.

It will take time and money to switch over while this is a quick fix for the meantime.


Upgrading current locomotives from diesel-electric to FC electric + batteries for acceleration and hills may prove to be an interesting solution, for areas without electrified rails. That could be done without crossing/rail upgrades and the installation of overhead cables.

A 30+ year programme may be required to upgrade recent locomotives and/or change older units.

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