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Canadian Pacific officials announced today the Class I plans to develop what would be North America's first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive.
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 will conduct service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology's readiness for the freight-rail sector, CP officials said in a press release.
"This is a globally significant project that positions CP at the leading edge of decarbonizing the freight transportation sector," said President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel.
The work will build on the railroad's prior experience with testing low-emitting locomotive technologies, including biofuels, compressed natural gas and battery-powered solutions. Nearly the entire freight locomotive fleet of all railway operators in North America consists of diesel-powered units, representing the industry's most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to CP.
Energy-saving initiatives are at the core of CP's sustainability practices. Since 1990, the railroad has improved its locomotive fuel efficiency by more than 40 percent through a variety of programs and technology deployments designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce air emissions, CP officials said.