CP to employ Ballard fuel cells in Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Railway touts zero emissions goal

Canadian Pacific (CP) is adopting a new Canadian technology in a bid to reduce its locomotion emissions.

It’s teaming up with Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems to employ Ballard fuel cell modules in CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program. The modules will provide a total of 1.2 megawatts 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 president and CEO Keith Creel in a prepared release. “This technology holds the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight train operations, which already represent the most efficient method of moving goods over land.”

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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 Ballard 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 freight-rail sector.

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

Randy MacEwen, Ballard president and CEO, noted, “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.”

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