News | September 7, 2022

Sierra Northern Railway Unveils New Hydrogen Powered, Zero Emission Switching Locomotive Design Concept

Sacramento, CA /PRNewswire/ - Sierra Northern Railway (SERA) unveiled the new look for its industry-leading Hydrogen Powered Switching Locomotive. This Zero Emission switching locomotive is moving forward and is slated to be completed on schedule. The California Energy Commission awarded $4,000,000 for the design, integration, and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell switching locomotive. The locomotive will prove the potential of hydrogen fuel-cell technology to reduce transportation air pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

SERA is retiring an older tier 0 diesel locomotive and replacing it with a zero-emission switching locomotive using cutting-edge hydrogen technology. The project involves the integration of an advanced hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen storage, advanced battery, and systems control technologies to provide an alternative to less environmentally friendly diesel-powered locomotives. When built and demonstrated it will benefit the community with the improvement of local air quality, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and odor, helping California to achieve the State's environmental goals.

SERA will provide additional information to the industry about its solution in the coming years as it builds, demonstrates, and validates the technology as it prepares to establish a platform for widespread commercialization in the immediate future.

"We are pleased to present this new look for the Sierra Northern Railway Zero Emission Hydrogen Switching Locomotive as we continue to refine our design and prepare to build and test the locomotive. This new look combines the future of hydrogen (dark blue) with California's green future (dark and light green) with Sierra's strong tradition of switching locomotives for the goods movement sector. We are more convinced today than ever that the Sierra Northern Railway Zero Emission Hydrogen Switching Locomotive will help ensure the switching locomotive industry will have a zero-emission solution in the near future," said Kennan H. Beard III, President of Sierra Northern Railway.

Sierra Northern Railway (SERA) the technical lead, partnering with GTI Energy as the formal applicant to the California Energy Commission. Other technical partners are Railpower Tech LLC, Optifuel Systems LLC, UC Riverside Center For Environmental Research and Technology, Velocity Strategies, Valley Vision, Ballard Power Systems, WHA International, Southern California Gas Company, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and The Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI).

Sierra Northern Railway (SERA): Sierra Northern Railway is the freight division of privately-owned, Sierra Railroad Company. Sierra Railroad Company is also the principal owner of Sierra Energy Corporation, which has developed a proprietary waste to clean hydrogen technology: FastOx® gasification. Sierra Northern Railway currently operates approximately 75 miles of track in Northern California and 30 miles in Southern California through the heart of a number of the Golden State's prime industrial areas, serving a wide variety of customers, and interchanging with both BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.

GTI Energy: GTI Energy is a leading research and training organization. Our trusted team works to scale impactful solutions that shape energy transitions by leveraging gases, liquids, infrastructure, and efficiency. We embrace systems thinking, open learning, and collaboration to develop, scale, and deploy the technologies needed for low-carbon, low-cost energy systems.

Source: Sierra Northern Railway

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