Canadian Pacific plans to develop the North America’s first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive to replace the fleet and make an important step for transport decarbonisation.
The project is part of company’s Hydrogen Locomotive Programme to retrofit a line-haul locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to drive the locomotive’s electric traction motors. Once operational, Canadian Pacific will conduct rail service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology’s readiness for the freight rail sector.
“This is a globally significant project that positions CP at the leading edge of decarbonising the freight transport sector. CP will continue to focus on finding innovative solutions to transform our operations and adapt our business, positioning CP and our industry as leaders for a sustainable future,” Keith Creel, the Chief Executive Officer of CP.
The hydrogen-powered locomotive project is based on CP’s prior experience with testing low-emitting locomotive technologies, including biofuels, compressed natural gas and battery-powered solutions. Nearly the entire freight locomotive fleet of all railway operators in North America consists of diesel-powered vehicles, representing the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
CP has made a commitment to fight climate change by adapting its business and operations to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The company has improved its fuel efficiency by more than 40 percent since 1990 and is currently 13.8 percent better than the North American Class 1 freight railway average. As CP continues to strategically grow its business, CP must continue to curtail its own emissions, while supporting further emissions reductions across the broader transport sector.
CP has long focused on energy-saving initiatives as a core component of its sustainability practices. Since 1990, CP has improved its locomotive fuel efficiency by more than 40 percent through a variety of programmes and technology deployments designed to improve fuel economy and reduce air emissions. The application of leading practices, emerging technologies and relationship building across the value chain and industrial sector will remain critical as CP addresses the climate change challenge.
The transport sector is a major source of GHG emissions in North America, accounting for 28 percent of Canadian and U.S. emissions in 2018. While transport by rail represents only 2.2 percent of GHG emissions from the transport sector, the rail industry plays a major role in helping reduce overall transport related GHG emissions.