Canadian Pacific plans to develop North America’s first hydrogen-powered line-haul locomotive. CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program will retrofit a line-haul locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to drive the locomotive’s electric traction motors.
Line-haul locomotives move freight and passenger cars between yards and terminals. These are high-powered units—total rated power of more than 1,715 kW (2,300 horsepower) in Canada—that travel long distances and spend much of their operating time at high power levels.
Once operational, CP will conduct rail service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology’s readiness for the freight-rail sector.
This is a globally significant project that positions CP at the leading edge of decarbonizing the freight transportation sector. CP will continue to focus on finding innovative solutions to transform our operations and adapt our business, positioning CP and our industry as leaders for a sustainable future.—Keith Creel, CP’s President and CEO
The work builds on CP’s prior experience with testing low-emitting locomotive technologies, including biofuels, compressed natural gas and battery-powered solutions.
Nearly the entire freight locomotive fleet of all railway operators in North America consists of diesel-powered units, representing the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 1990, CP has improved its locomotive fuel efficiency by more than 40% through a variety of programs and technology deployments designed to improve fuel economy and reduce air emissions.