CP purchases fuel cell modules for its Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Posted: 12 March 2021 | | No comments yet

Canadian Pacific’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program will see the development of North America’s first hydrogen-powered line-haul freight locomotive.

CP purchases fuel cell modules for its Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Canadian Pacific (CP) has announced that it will employ Ballard Power Systems’ (BLDP) fuel cell modules in its pioneering Hydrogen Locomotive Program. The modules will provide a total of 1.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity to power the locomotive.

“With this purchase from Ballard, a leader in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, CP further demonstrates its commitment to developing the next generation of locomotive – one that produces zero emissions,” said CP‘s President and CEO, Keith Creel. “How we power our trains matters to our customers, employees, shareholders and to the communities that we operate in. This technology holds the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight train operations, which already represent the most efficient method of moving goods over land.” 

Through its Hydrogen Locomotive Program, CP will develop North America’s first hydrogen-powered line-haul freight locomotive by retrofitting a formerly diesel-powered locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells. The fuel cells will work with battery technology to power the locomotive’s electric traction motors. Once operational, CP will conduct rail service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology’s readiness for the rail freight sector.

Ballard plans to deliver six of its 200-kilowatt (kW) fuel cell modules to CP in 2021 and will provide support to enable the integration of the modules into the locomotive. 

Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s President and CEO, said: “We are excited to be working with CP, an industry leader in the North American rail sector. CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program will develop North America’s first hydrogen and fuel cell-powered line-haul freight locomotive. In addition to Ballard’s work focused on powering commuter trains in Europe and urban trams in China, CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program in North America underscores the strong fit for zero-emission fuel cells to power heavy- and medium-duty motive applications, including trains, for which it is otherwise difficult to abate emissions.”

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