Lhyfe has built and will operate a green hydrogen production plant for Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Tübingen. The electrolysis plant in the innovation hub of DB Energie, a Group subsidiary, has an annual production capacity of up to 30 tons (installed electrolysis capacity of 1 MW). The green electricity comes... Read more →

Moscow has been investing heavily in replacing outdated trains with modern models. Since 2011, the share of updated rolling stock in the entire Central Transport Hub has increased almost 15-fold, from 5% to 71%. The average age of the rolling stock has decreased by a factor of 3, from 24... Read more →

CSX, CPKC unveil first hydrogen-powered locomotive

CSX unveiled its first hydrogen-powered locomotive, marking a significant milestone in sustainable freight transportation. This achievement is the result of a successful partnership between CSX and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). The hydrogen locomotive was converted from an existing diesel locomotive using a hydrogen conversion kit developed by CPKC. The... Read more →

Northrop Grumman selected by DARPA to develop concept for lunar railroad

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by DARPA to develop further the concept of building a moon-based railroad network as part of the broader 10-year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) Capability Study. The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, supplies and resources for commercial ventures across the lunar surface, contributing to... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $15 million for 12 projects across 11 states to advance next-generation, high-energy storage solutions to help accelerate the electrification of the aviation, railroad, and maritime transportation sectors. Funded through the Pioneering Railroad, Oceanic and Plane ELectrification with 1K energy storage systems (PROPEL-1K) program... Read more →

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) rail recently awarded Ballard an additional order of 12 fuel cell engines, delivered in 2024. The 200kW FCwave engines will support the expansion of CPKC’s new fleet of hydrogen-powered locomotives planned for regular switching and local freight service applications in Alberta, Canada. To date, Ballard... Read more →

Wabtec’s Trip Optimizer software surpasses 1B miles; 752M gallons of fuel saved

Wabtec’s Trip Optimizer surpassed a major milestone as railroads used the energy-management software to efficiently operate their trains for more than 1 billion auto miles, the equivalent of more than 40,000 trips around the Earth. The 12,000 locomotives worldwide using the Trip Optimizer system accounted for significant reductions in fuel... Read more →

OptiFuel Systems will begin testing a prototype 5600 hp Total-Zero Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Line Haul Locomotive and 2500 hp Total-Zero Powered Tender with 7,500 DGE (diesel gallon equivalent) capacity in January 2025. (Earlier post.) The RNG-powered line haul locomotive produces 5100 hp of continuous power from Cummins RNG engines... Read more →

US and Canada create Rail Decarbonization Task Force

The United States and Canada have created a Rail Decarbonization Task Force to develop a common vision to reduce emissions from the rail sector. The partners say they will: establish a joint research agenda to test the safe integration of emerging technologies, including hydrogen-powered and battery-electric locomotives; coordinate strategies to... Read more →

DOE releases Request for Information to achieve rail sector decarbonization

Recognizing that the rail sector generates 2% of US transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Progression to Net-Zero Emission Propulsion Technologies for the Rail Sector request for information (RFI) to understand applicable decarbonization strategies (DE-FOA-0003186). The purpose of this RFI is to solicit... Read more →

CPKC places follow-on order for 2.4 MW of Ballard fuel cell systems for active service locomotives

Ballard Power Systems received an order for 2.4 MW of additional fuel cell systems from Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). These twelve, 200 kW fuel cell engines are planned for delivery in 2023 and will support the development of CPKC’s additional hydrogen-powered locomotives planned for regular switching and local freight... Read more →

Westport announces Hydrogen HPDI project with a leading global locomotive original equipment manufacturer

Westport Fuel Systems announced an agreement with a leading global provider of locomotives and related equipment for the freight and transit rail industries, to adapt its hydrogen HPDI fuel system (earlier post) for use with the locomotive original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) engine design. The two-year H2 HPDI proof of concept... Read more →

Wabtec and its launch customer, Roy Hill, a leading iron ore miner majority-owned by Australia’s Hancock Prospecting, have unveiled the FLXdrive battery locomotive, the first 100% battery-powered, heavy-haul locomotive for mainline service. FLXdrive battery locomotive. This locomotive has been painted pink (as are all locomotives produced for Roy Hill) in... Read more →

US Steel converts two diesel switchers at Mon Valley Works to battery-electric

United States Steel Corporation has converted two of its diesel switcher locomotives at the Mon Valley Works’ Edgar Thomson and Clairton Plants to battery-operated locomotives. The locomotives are built by Innovative Rail Technologies (IRT), a provider of customized lithium-ion propulsion solutions to the locomotive rail market. US Steel invested more... Read more →

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), in partnership with Alstom, a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, is operating and demonstrating the hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint train (earlier post) in Riyadh in October. This demonstration marks the first introduction of a hydrogen-powered train in the Middle East and Africa. The collaboration between... Read more →

In 2022, motorized vehicles were the top commodity shipped by rail in terms of value at $125.6 billion—nearly three times higher than the nearest category—according to data gathered by the Department of Transportation and presented by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Value of Commodities Moved By Rail, 2022 Data... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding (DE-FOA-0003162) to develop next-generation, high-energy storage solutions to help accelerate the electrification of the aviation, railroad, and maritime transportation sectors. Transportation is responsible for approximately 29% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually in the United States.... Read more →

Ballard Power Systems received an order for additional fuel cell engines from Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). These eighteen, 200 kW fuel cell engines (3.6 MW total) are planned for delivery in 2023 and will support the expansion of CPKC’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program. Over the past two years, Ballard has... Read more →

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has awarded Stadler a framework agreement for up to 120 battery-powered trains. The FLIRT Akku vehicles are designed to replace the current diesel fleet and will enable sustainable operation on lines that are only partially electrified. The signing of the framework agreement and the initial order... Read more →

Brazil-based metals and mining multinational Vale announced a partnership with Wabtec Corporation to advance the decarbonization of Vale’s rail operations. The deal includes an order for three of Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery locomotives and a collaboration to test ammonia as a potential clean, alternative fuel to replace diesel. The three 100%... Read more →

California investing $1.5B in port infrastructure upgrades; includes $450M to support zero-emission projects

California will invest more than $1.5 billion—including approximately $450 million for zero-emission infrastructure, locomotives, vessels and vehicles—in port infrastructure upgrades. Awards of $1.2 billion will fund 15 projects creating an estimated 20,000 jobs and increase the capacity to move goods throughout the state’s global trade gateways while lessening environmental impacts... Read more →

Leclanché and Medha partner on high-energy battery packs for railroad and commercial vehicle markets

Medha Group, a supplier of vehicle traction systems and related electronics based in Hyderabad, India, and Leclanché SA, a provider of energy storage solutions, have agreed to market their technologies jointly in the railroad and commercial truck markets. The partnership agreement allows for Leclanché to provide its Li-ion battery pack... Read more →

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... Read more →

Coal trains and terminal operations add a significant amount of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution to urban areas—more so than other freight or passenger trains—according to a study conducted in Richmond, California, by the University of California, Davis. The open-access paper, published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health,... Read more →

CARB adopts new In-Use Locomotive Regulation; zero emissions in state starting in 2030

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted the In-Use Locomotive Regulation—a new rule aimed at reducing emissions from all switch, passenger, industrial and freight line haul locomotives when they operate within the state. Under the In-Use Locomotive Regulation, operators will now be required to pay into a spending account,... Read more →

Siemens Mobility recently received an order for 1,200 locomotives of 9,000 horsepower (HP) from Indian Railways, marking the single largest locomotive order in the history of Siemens Mobility and single largest order in the history of Siemens India. Siemens Mobility will design, manufacture, commission and test the locomotives. Deliveries are... Read more →

SwRI receives $650k DOT contract to evaluate risks of transporting liquids with dissolved gases

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded a two-year, $650,000-contract from the US Department of Transportation to study the risks posed by gases dissolved in hazardous liquids during transport. The federal government has well-defined quantitative criteria and regulations for distinguishing hazardous liquids and gases as well as how and in... Read more →

Alstom has demonstrated the highest grade of automation on a shunting locomotive near Breda, the Netherlands, in partnership with Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail and Belgian rail freight operator Lineas. This grade of automation (GoA4) means fully automated starting, driving, stopping, and the handling of unanticipated obstacles or events without the... Read more →

EPA to develop options to reduce NOx and PM from locomotives further

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responding to petitions from the California Air Resources Board, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association to address harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions from locomotives. EPA adopted its first regulation... Read more →

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) will work with Wabtec, a leading manufacturer of freight locomotives, to develop the hardware and control strategies for a single-cylinder, dual-fuel engine to demonstrate the viability of using alternative fuels for locomotives. The research focuses on zero-carbon hydrogen... Read more →

BNSF Railway plans to invest more than $1.5 billion to construct a master-planned rail facility in Southern California—the first being developed by a Class 1 railroad. The Barstow International Gateway will be an approximately 4,500-acre new integrated rail facility on the west side of Barstow, consisting of a rail yard,... Read more →

Stadler Rail AG, a leading manufacturer of rolling stock, has ordered six 100 kW FCmove-HD+ fuel cell engines from Ballard Power Systems to power the first hydrogen train in the United States. The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 train was awarded to Stadler by San Bernardino County Transportation... Read more →

Rolls-Royce is releasing mtu rail engines for use with sustainable fuels. With synthetic diesel fuels of the EN15940 standard, CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 100% compared to fossil diesel. Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO or renewable diesel), which is already commercially available today, reduces CO2 emissions by up... Read more →

Ballard Power Systems announced an order for 14 x 200 kW fuel cell modules from Siemens Mobility GmbH, a leading supplier in the development of alternative drives, to power a fleet of seven Mireo Plus H passenger trains. Delivery of the 14 fuel cell modules is expected to start in... Read more →

Amtrak aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

Amtrak has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the Amtrak Network by 2045. Amtrak plans to take the following actions: Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across Amtrak’s network by 2045: Begin with efforts to increase energy efficiency, followed by the implementation of renewable fuels and energy. Reduce diesel... Read more →

Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG, Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, and Hartmut Höppner, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), took their first ride in the Mireo Plus H hydrogen train and then demonstrated the train’s refueling procedure using a mobile hydrogen fueling... Read more →

Ballard to power India’s first hydrogen trains

Ballard Power Systems announced a fuel cell module order from Medha Servo Drives, a leading rail system integrator, which has been contracted by Indian Railways to develop India’s first hydrogen powered trains. Indian Railways is a statutory body under the ownership of Ministry of Railways, Government of India that operates... Read more →

Cummins is powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains (earlier post) are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train... Read more →

CAF starts dynamic track testing of hydrogen-powered train

This week, CAF started dynamic track testing of the hydrogen-powered demonstrator train being developed for the FCH2RAIL project. FCH2RAIL is a consortium of CAF, DLR, Toyota, Renfe, ADIF, CNH2, IP and Stemmann-Technik. This demonstrator train is based on one of Renfe’s commuter trains, in which a new power generation system... Read more →

OptiFuel Systems has signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Argentina Ministry of Transportation through Ferrocarriles Argentinos Sociedad del Estado (FASE). The objective of this agreement is to develop a project to repower and put into service 400 switcher and line-haul freight locomotives, all 100% powered by compressed natural gas (CNG)... Read more →

Components for the production of batteries at Audi’s Brussels plant will no longer be delivered by truck from Hungary, but by rail with DB Cargo. The move will significantly reduce Audi’s carbon emissions and also save money. The switch in means of delivery between Hungary and Brussels, which was started... Read more →

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 →