MARCH 18, 2021 DAVID WAGMAN | PV Magazine

The California Energy Commission awarded Sierra Northern Railway and GTI nearly $4 million to fund the design, integration, and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell switching locomotive.

The funds will be used to retire a Tier 0 diesel locomotive and to replace it with a zero-emission switching locomotive using hydrogen technology. The project involves integrating hydrogen fuel cell, storage, battery, and systems control technologies.

Testing this technology is expected to establish a platform for future commercialization. Most switcher locomotives in California use an average of 50,000 gallons of diesel per year per switcher, potentially leading to a reduction of more than 12 million gallons of fuel per year. This is equal to the amount of fuel used each year by 20,000 light-duty vehicles.

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