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PESA introduces hydrogen-drive shunting locomotive

PESA, the largest Polish producer of rolling stock, has developed a shunting locomotive with a hydrogen drive, based on the modernization of its SM42 unit. The experience gained during the implementation of this project will be the base for the construction of a passenger vehicle with hydrogen drive, the company said—a PESA Regio160.


The SM42 6Dn locomotive is a 4-axle shunting locomotive with 4x180kW traction motors. Two 85 kW hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity. The unit is equipped with an autonomous driving system, enabling the driver to control the vehicle by one person while setting up trains, and an obstacle recognition system (anti-collision).


SM42-6Dn features a new design, with a key change—the location of the driver’s cabin in the middle of the vehicle.

The hydrogen cell power supply system consists of two 16 tanks packages mounted in a steel frame. Hydrogen storage is in 32 hydrogen tanks—two 16-tank modules— with a maximum refueling time of up to 30 min.

The locomotive drive system also includes a large capacity LTO traction battery with a total capacity of 167 kWh.



The reason some, but not all, companies are turning to fuel cells rather than batteries in this application, which appears to be very suitable for batteries is due to downtime.

Typically shunters have a demanding duty cycle, running for many hours a day, so that recharging batteries eats into it.

Maybe superfast charging without excessive battery degradation will change that someday, but we ain't there yet.


Or maybe ultra high density capacitors and a catenary station with the ability to recharge the caps in very little time.


LNG and SOFC can be used for locomotives


Look at what Progress Rail/EMD, a Caterpillar company, is offering.


The locomotive (shunter) in the above article has a maximum continuous power of 170 kW. One of the smaller EMD locomotives with a 4MW battery would run for 24 hours at this power output. But the big win is the lower overall cost of ownership. I do not see hydrogen as a winner for this application. I might also note that BNSF, a major North American freight railroad tried a fuel cell switcher (or shunter). It only lasted a few months before it was stored or scraped.


"The reason some, but not all, companies are turning to fuel cells rather than batteries" is that some are susceptible to the BS-rumors spread from the oil industry and their proponents.


The knowledge base here is incredible, with many knowing way more than those in the industry around the world!

Here are hydrogen shunters being developed in France:

In China:

In the UK:

But what do any of them know, when the whole technology can be dismissed with a wave of the hand?

Some are turning the full power of their neuron on the issue...


It' a great gesture of yours to indirectly endorse what I stated prior to your last post.
"Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread".


The automobile as we know it today - with an ICE - was first built in Germany. Everywhere on all continents, cars were built following the prototype as it first appeared in Germany. Now, according to a new thesis, because it's done worldwide, it's the best thing to do. Nevertheless, I still prefer my BEV anytime to a gas hog.

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