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Rail News: Mechanical

Shell subsidiary gains California grant to develop multimodal hydrogen refueling station

Shell is one of the partners working with the short line to develop the nation’s first hydrogen-fueled locomotive.
Photo – Sierra Northern Railroad


The California Energy Commission recently awarded a $4 million grant to Shell subsidiary Equilon Enterprises LLC to help support hydrogen fuel-cell demonstrations in rail and marine applications at California ports.

Equilon Enterprises (doing business as Shell Oil Products US) plans to develop, build, own and operate the world’s first multimodal hydrogen refueling station. To open in mid-2023 near the Port of West Sacramento, the station will serve hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars, heavy-duty trucks and locomotives.

The project will more than triple the company’s capacity while still reducing the costs from the first heavy-duty truck hydrogen fueling stations, which also were recently opened by Shell, said Shell spokeperson Natalie Gunnell in an email.

Shell is one of the partners working with Sierra Northern Railroad to develop the nation’s first hydrogen-fueled locomotive. The new locomotive will be fueled at the station.

The short line plans to convert a retired diesel locomotive into a zero-emission hydrogen switching locomotive, which will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, noise and odors.