CP’s hydrogen locomotive starts up


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Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

CP on January 24 shared via Twitter: “The project team is now preparing for field testing with the H2OEL [pictured]. This is an important milestone for CP’s hydrogen locomotive program. »

On January 24, Canadian Pacific (CP) shared via Twitter a video of its fully painted hydrogen fuel cell freight locomotive (H20EL), which the railroad says ran under its own power.

PC reported that his Hydrogen Locomotive Program The team is now preparing to field test the HSOEL, which stands for Hydrogen Zero Emissions Locomotive.

Watch the video of the locomotive below:

The Class I Railroad released a rendering of the locomotive in October 2021, noting that the blue and green paint colors represent “sustainability, water and technology”, and the slanted typography of H2OEL symbolizes “movement and progress in action”.

The H2OEL is a retrofit of an existing diesel-electric line haul locomotive. The diesel engine and traction alternator have been replaced with hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology to power the unit’s electric traction motors. CP announced work on the unit, as part of its hydrogen locomotive program, in December 2020.

On March 10, 2021, CP President and CEO Keith Creel told attendees that The age of the railway‘s Next-Gen Freight Rail Conference that the locomotive was expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

In November 2021, the Class I railroad said it was expanding the hydrogen locomotive program to three locomotives (now two line haul units and a switch), and would install hydrogen generating facilities. hydrogen at two sites and would create a “global center of excellence in hydrogen rail and freight systems”. in Alberta, following receipt of a $15 million 50% matching grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). The grant award builds on the $15 million CP has already planned to invest in the program in 2021.

CP said at the time that it intended to “refine the process of converting diesel-electric powertrains to hydrogen-electric powertrains on a series of three classes of locomotives, which collectively represent the majority of locomotives used in North America”.

In related developments, Ballard Power Systems announced on January 19, 2022 that it will deliver eight additional 200-kilowatt fuel cell modules to CP this year for the expanded hydrogen locomotive program. CP has ordered six 200 kilowatt fuel cell modules from ballard in March 2021 as part of the original program.


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