Clean Air Power demonstrates Freightliner Class 66 locomotive running on combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen

UK-based Clean Air Power has demonstrated a Freightliner Class 66 locomotive running on hydrogen to reduce its carbon emission output. Clean Air Power achieved this by fitting the Class 66 with its precision injection technology, allowing the two-stroke diesel locomotive to run on a combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen.... Read more →


Essam El-Hannouny, a principal mechanical engineer at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, won a Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) Award from DOE to expand his research on how a renewable alcohol-based biofuel can serve as a dual fuel to help decarbonize locomotive engines. His research is also relevant... Read more →


Wabtec and BNSF Railway partnering on biodiesel, renewable diesel pilot

Wabtec and BNSF Railway are partnering on a new biofuel project aimed at quantifying the impact of alternative fuels on emissions, durability, and performance in Wabtec locomotives. BNSF and Wabtec will begin testing biofuel in the second quarter of this year. The two companies will demonstrate the performance of biodiesel... Read more →


Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has started transporting new cars by cross-channel rail services between its Valenciennes Vehicle Logistics hub in France and Toton (UK). This launch signals the first phase of its Pan-European plan to move a larger share of vehicles by rail freight in line with its ambition to... Read more →


Rolls-Royce, Porterbrook and Chiltern Railways have put a hybrid diesel-battery-electric train that reduces CO2 emissions by up to 25% into passenger service in the UK. The HybridFLEX train is powered by two mtu Hybrid PowerPacks and is operated by Chiltern Railways on the route between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. Together... Read more →


Union Pacific Railroad to purchase 20 battery-electric locomotives for testing in yard operations

Union Pacific Railroad plans to purchase 20 battery-electric locomotives for testing in yard operations. The combined purchases and upgrades to yard infrastructure are expected to exceed $100 million, representing the largest investment in battery-electric technology by a US Class I railroad. The locomotives will be acquired from Progress Rail, a... Read more →


Parallel Systems, a company founded by former SpaceX engineers to reimagine the railroad system, has raised $49.55 million in Series A funds to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles that move freight. The round is led by Anthos Capital, and includes investments from Congruent Ventures, Riot Ventures, Embark Ventures, and others.... Read more →


Canadian Pacific orders 8 more Ballard fuel cell modules for expansion of hydrogen locomotive development program

Canadian Pacific is expanding its Hydrogen Locomotive Program from one to three locomotives, with expected delivery in 2022, and has ordered eight additional 200 kW fuel cell modules from Ballard to support the expansion. Inclusive of Ballard’s announcement in March 2021, the company will provide a total of 14 fuel... Read more →


The FCH2RAIL project, already launched in January 2021, is developing emission-free bi-modal trains, which combine normal track use and emission-free rail travel without overhead lines. The FCH2Rail consortium is developing a Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack and integrating it into a demonstration bi-modal train. (Earlier post.) Toyota has built, tested... Read more →


BHP orders two Wabtec FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives

Wabtec Corporation announced an order from BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) for two FLXdrive battery locomotives (earlier post). The deal builds momentum in the market for the world’s first 100%, battery-powered locomotive and supports the Australia-based natural resource company’s plan to decarbonize its rail network. Earlier this month, Rio... Read more →


Rio Tinto purchases 4 Wabtec battery-electric locomotives for the Pilbara

Rio Tinto will purchase four 7MWh FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives (earlier post) from Wabtec Corporation for use in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of the company’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Production of the units is due to commence in the United States... Read more →


Anglo American, Aurizon to explore feasibility of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight

Aurizon, Australia’s largest rail freight operator, and leading global mining company Anglo American will work together on a feasibility study to assess the introduction of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight. The study will explore the application of Anglo American’s proprietary hydrogen fuel cell and battery hybrid power units in heavy... Read more →


Caterpillar, BNSF and Chevron to pursue hydrogen locomotive demonstration

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), and Chevron USA, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance the demonstration of a locomotive powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The goal of the demonstration is to confirm the feasibility and performance of hydrogen fuel... Read more →


United States Steel Corporation, Norfolk Southern Corporation and The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. jointly announced a new, more sustainable steel gondola railcar. Using an innovative formula for high-strength, lighter-weight steel developed by US Steel, each gondola’s unloaded weight is reduced by up to 15,000 pounds. Gondola railcars transport loose bulk material... Read more →


Alstom and MOL to explore use of hydrogen technologies for rail transport in Hungary

Alstom and MOL, Hungary’s leading oil and gas company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to structure cooperation in examining the use of hydrogen technology in rail transportation. MOL Group already produces and utilizes almost 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year. As part of its National Hydrogen Strategy, Hungary has... Read more →


In the US, diesel freight trains emit 35 million metric tons of CO2 annually and produce air pollution that leads to $6.5 billion in health costs, resulting in an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year. Now, researchers from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), collaborating... Read more →


CN has purchased Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive (earlier post). CN’s Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad (B&LE) Company received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help with the purchase of the battery-electric locomotive. The Wabtec FLXdrive technology, with its 2.4MWh battery pack, can reduce train... Read more →


CN and Progress Rail partner with REG to test renewable fuel blends

Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and Progress Rail, A Caterpillar Company are partnering with Renewable Energy Group (REG) to test high-level renewable fuel blends including both biodiesel and renewable diesel in support of the companies’ sustainability goals. Trials and qualifications of up to 100% bio-based diesel fuel are important steps... Read more →


The first China-developed hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive—from core power to main components—has started trial runs on a 627 km railway line for coal transport in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Source: Xinhua The hydrogen energy locomotive project was jointly launched by the Inner Mongolia subsidiary of the State... Read more →


Canadian Pacific expands hydrogen locomotive program; additional locomotives, fueling stations; $15M from ERA

Canadian Pacific will significantly expand the scope of its hydrogen locomotive program (earlier post) with a $15-million grant announced by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). The grant enables CP to increase the number of hydrogen locomotive conversions in the project from one to three and add hydrogen production and fueling facilities.... Read more →


Ballard to power Talgo fuel cell passenger train in trials ahead of planned 2023 launch

Ballard Power Systems will supply eight of its 70 kW FCmove-HD fuel cell modules to Talgo S.A.—a leader in the design, manufacture, and maintenance of high-speed light-rail trains, headquartered in Madrid, Spain—for trials of its Talgo Vittal-One commuter and regional passenger train. Talgo plans to conduct its demonstration in early... Read more →


Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Siemens Mobility have developed what they say is the world’s first train that operates by itself in rail traffic. Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of DB, and Dr. Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG, together with Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, presented the train as it... Read more →


AECOM to develop hydrogen-powered railway in Central Italy

Global infrastructure consulting firm AECOM signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Spanish renewables group Iberdrola, and Italian partners Cinque International and Ancitel Energy and Environment, to upgrade Italy’s historic Apennine diesel railway with hydrogen trains. This project aims to aid economic growth for the Apennine region. AECOM and its... Read more →


Roy Hill purchases Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive

Roy Hill, the largest single iron ore mine in Australia, has purchased Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive, the world’s first 100% battery-electric, heavy-haul locomotive (earlier post) for the region and the mining industry. We are committed to transforming the next generation of transportation by adopting advanced technologies that improve energy efficiency,... Read more →


Wabtec, a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine and industrial markets, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) which formalizes their joint aim to create technologies that will... Read more →


Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, has approved the use of up to 20% biodiesel blend (B20) in specific EMD locomotive series operated by the Union Pacific railroad. Previously, the locomotives were approved to operate at 5%. The EMD SD80ACe features the reliable 710 Series engine—20-cylinder, two-stroke, turbocharged—and operates on B20... Read more →


Cal Energy Commission awards Shell $4M to develop and demonstrate multi-modal hydrogen refueling station; road and rail

The California Energy Commission has approved a 4-million grant to Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba Shell Oil Products US) to develop and demonstrate the first multi-modal hydrogen refueling station in California. The multi-modal hydrogen refueling station will serve hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered on-road heavy-duty vehicles and locomotives at the Port of West Sacramento and... Read more →


Spain-based global energy company Repsol and Talgo, a manufacturer of intercity, standard, and high speed passenger trains, will promote a renewable-hydrogen-powered train, fostering emission-free rail transport in the Iberian Peninsula. Repsol is the leading producer and consumer of hydrogen in the Iberian Peninsula and operates the largest hydrogen plant of... Read more →


Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) announced it will be working together with Sierra Northern Railway, Gas Technology Institute (GTI), and other technical experts to develop and test a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell engine for a switcher locomotive. (Earlier post.) Switcher locomotives are a type of engine for trains that carry... Read more →


Deutsche Bahn has selected Wystrach—a specialist in the transport and storage of gases—to provide a plug-and-play hydrogen refueling station for the joint H2goesRail project—a green hydrail mobility solution. With a view to replacing diesel, hydrogen generated from green electricity is forging a path toward climate neutrality. Refueling that’s as fast,... Read more →


A consortium of Clean Air Power and Freightliner has secured almost £0.4 million (US$0.55 million) of government funding to develop a biogas and hydrogen dual-fuel solution for the Class 66 locomotive. The technology is one of the 30 winners of the latest round of the First of a Kind (FOAK)... Read more →


Russian Railways, Sinara Group and RUSNANO to develop hydrogen fuel cell mainline locomotives

Russian Railways, RUSNANO and the Sinara Group signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of mainline locomotives using a power plant based on hydrogen fuel cells together with lithium-ion batteries. Russian Railways will act as a potential customer of locomotives, while the Sinara Group, represented by the Sinara—Transport Machines... Read more →


Germany investing €227M to support electrification of rail

Germany will invest some €227 million to support the electrification of rail, with a focus on batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, including charging and refueling infrastructure. Currently, 61% of the rail network in Germany is electrified with overhead lines. Conventional rail vehicles with diesel engines are currently used almost exclusively... Read more →


Wabtec Corporation and General Motors will collaborate to develop and commercialize GM’s Ultium battery technology and HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems for Wabtec locomotives. The rail industry is on the cusp of a sustainable transformation with the introduction of batteries and hydrogen to power locomotive fleets. Our FLXdrive locomotive, the... Read more →


Wabtec Corporation announced that its FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive—functioning as one unit in a consist also containing two Tier 4 locomotives—delivered more than an 11% average reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for an entire train—the equivalent of more than 6,200 gallons of diesel fuel saved and approximately 69... Read more →


Leclanché to provide battery technology for Canadian Pacific’s hydrogen-powered locomotive project

Leclanché SA will provide its proprietary battery technology to Canadian Pacific (CP) for its innovative Hydrogen Locomotive Program. (Earlier post.) The CP hydrogen-powered locomotive pioneering project, first announced in December 2020, will retrofit a line-haul diesel freight locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and Leclanché's European-manufactured lithium-ion batteries to power the... Read more →


Ballard Power Systems will provide fuel cell modules to Sierra Northern Railway—the freight division of privately-owned Sierra Energy Corporation, operating in Northern California—to power a zero-emission switching locomotive. A purchase order for the fuel cell modules is expected to be issued by Sierra by mid-year 2021. The pilot program will... Read more →


The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie regions in France have signed the first order for dual-mode electric-hydrogen trains in France. Acting on behalf of the four regions, SNCF Voyageurs has placed an order with Alstom for the first 12 dual mode electric-hydrogen trains (plus two optional trainsets) in the... Read more →


Toyota Motor Europe to supply fuel cell modules for train project as member of FCH2RAIL consortium

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) Fuel Cell Business will supply and integrate fuel cell modules into a zero-emission train prototype as part of the FCH2RAIL project in Europe. The main objective of the FCH2RAIL project is to develop, build, test, demonstrate and homologate a scalable, modular and multi-purpose Fuel Cell Hybrid... Read more →


The California Energy Commission has awarded GTI and Sierra Northern Railway nearly $4,000,000 to fund the design, integration, and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell switching locomotive to support the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports (H2RAM) initiative. The locomotive will show the potential of... Read more →


Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) have entered into a merger agreement, under which CP has agreed to acquire KCS in a stock and cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately USD$29 billion, which includes the assumption of $3.8 billion of outstanding KCS debt. The transaction,... Read more →


Ballard fuel cells to power CP’s line-haul Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Ballard Power Systems and Canadian Pacific announced that CP will employ Ballard fuel cell modules for CP’s pioneering Hydrogen Locomotive Program. (Earlier post.) The modules will provide a total of 1.2 megawatts of electricity to power the locomotive. Through its Hydrogen Locomotive Program, CP will develop North America’s first hydrogen-powered... Read more →


Bombardier Transportation (now part of Alstom) introduced a variety of green innovations to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution in the railway sector. One of our first sustainable mobility solutions was a dual-mode Autorail à Grande Capacité (AGC) train, designed and developed by its Crespin site in France; the AGC was... Read more →


Ricardo plc and AFC Energy plc, a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, signed a collaboration agreement on the joint creation of hydrogen fuel cell product and service offerings, with an initial focus on marine, rail and stationary power generation. The collaboration will develop products and services that will... Read more →


German government tasks TÜV Rheinland InterTraffic with developing standards for hydrogen applications in rail vehicles

The German Center for Rail Transport Research at the Federal Railway Office has tasked TÜV Rheinland InterTraffic with developing a standard for hydrogen applications in rail vehicles. TÜV Rheinland is one of the world’s leading testing and certification service providers, and has more than 21,400 employees and an annual turnover... Read more →


Ballard announces order for FCmove-HD modules to power Scotland’s first fuel-cell train

Ballard Power Systems announced a purchase order from Arcola Energy, a UK-based leader in hydrogen and fuel cell integration specializing in zero-emission solutions for heavy-duty vehicles and transport applications, for Ballard FCmove-HD fuel cell modules to power a passenger train planned for demonstration during COP26, to be hosted by Glasgow... Read more →


SOFC company FCET signs MoU regarding purchase of fuel cells for locomotives

Fuel Cell Enabling Technologies, Inc. (FCET), a start-up energy technology company that has developed a novel, low-cost solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system, announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NextGenPropulsion, LLC (NGP) indicating NGP’s intent to purchase FCET fuel cells for NGP light-rail trains and freight locomotives. In addition... Read more →


BNSF Railway Company and Wabtec began testing battery-electric locomotive technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California. As BNSF seeks ways to further reduce its environmental impact, the advancement of battery technology offers some possible solutions. The battery-powered locomotive (FLXdrive) will be situated in a consist between two Tier... Read more →


Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, based at the University of St Andrews, have appointed Arcola Energy and a consortium of industry leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train. A key objective of the project is to... Read more →


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... Read more →