Canadian Pacific announced on Friday that it plans to develop North America’s first line-haul hydrogen powered locomotive.
According to a press release issued by the company, 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. Once operational, CP says it 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,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
Canadian Pacific has been testing low-emitting locomotive technologies, including biofuels, compressed natural gas and battery-powered solutions. Currently almost the entire fleet of all railway operators in North America are made up of diesel-powered units. This represents the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Calgary-based company says that since 1990, it has improved its locomotive fuel efficiency by over 40 per cent through a variety of programs and technology deployments designed to improve fuel economy and reduce air emissions.
“The application of leading practices, emerging technologies and relationship building across the value chain and industrial sector will remain critical as CP addresses the climate change challenge,” CP wrote in a press release.