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Plans progress for the Californian hydrogen-powered locomotive project

Plans progress for the Californian hydrogen-powered locomotive project

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), Sierra Northern Railway and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) have joined forces to develop a brand-new hydrogen fuel cell engine to be fitted in a switcher locomotive which is currently being converted from diesel in the US.

The trio on Wednesday (July 28) said the project has received $4m from the California Energy Commission to fund the design and demonstration of the train. Further to that, SoCalGas is committing another $500,000 to advance the research.

In order to carry out the conversion of the locomotive, Sierra Northern Railway will retire a high-emission Tier 0 diesel locomotive engine and replace it with the hydrogen alternative which is currently under development.

Upon completion, the new vehicle will save the use of up to 10,000 gallons of conventional diesel fuel per year by using hydrogen fuel, providing the capacity to eliminate more than 100 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.

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