CSX Unveils First HFC Locomotive

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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CSX GP38H2 is the railroad’s first HFC (hydrogen fuel cell)-powered locomotive. CSX photo.

A little less than one year ago, CSX partnered with CPKC (Canadian Pacific Kansas City) to develop hydrogen fuel cell (HFC)-powered locomotives. On April 16, CSX unveiled its first unit, a “groundbreaking” locomotive, a “pioneering achievement marking a significant milestone in sustainable freight transportation” that “demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship.”

GP38H2 No. 2100 was converted from an existing EMD GP40-2 diesel-electric locomotive using a hydrogen conversion kit developed by CPKC. The transformation took place at the CSX locomotive shop in Huntington, W.Va. The conversion team reused several components, including the frame, cab, traction motors and trucks. As such, “converting an existing unit into a next-generation locomotive further extends the useful life of the asset,” CSX noted. (See video below.)

CSX photo.

As the next step, CSX will deploy 2100 for field testing to “further evaluate its performance and operational feasibility.” CSX added that HFC power “presents a promising alternative to fossil fuels, offering greater efficiency and zero emissions. Unlike traditional diesel engines, hydrogen-powered locomotives emit only water vapor, contributing to cleaner air and a cleaner environment.”

“The successful debut of our first hydrogen-powered locomotive stands as a testament to the exceptional skill and dedication of our employees at the CSX Huntington locomotive shop,” said CSX President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Hinrichs. “CSX’s commitment to sustainability in our operations is exemplified by the outstanding efforts of these employees, who, through their craftsmanship, are helping advance our collaboration with CPKC. We are proud to work with CPKC to scale this hydrogen technology and help pave the way for meaningful sustainable solutions for the future.”

Further Reading

HGmotive, CPKC Partner on Hydrogen Fueling System
Hydrogen: Hope or Hype?

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