MSU research leads to contract for North America’s first commercial hydrogen-powered train

Research from Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education (CRRE) contributed to the decision to order the first commercial hydrogen-powered train for use in North America.

The work was completed for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) seeking low or zero-emission options for its new Arrow railway service, and was conducted in partnership with the Birmingham Center for Railway Research and Education and Mott MacDonald.

The CRRE, housed in MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business, worked on the project over the past year, evaluating the suitability of various technologies, estimating emission levels, and conducting a high-level cost analysis for the Arrow service.

The researchers examined traditional wayside electrification, conventional diesel-electric, biofuels, natural gas, batteries, hydrogen fuel cell technology, and hybrid powertrain options.

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