Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), and Chevron USA, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance the demonstration of a locomotive powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
The goal of the demonstration is to confirm the feasibility and performance of hydrogen fuel for use as a viable alternative to traditional fuels for line-haul rail. Hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role as a lower-carbon alternative to diesel fuel for transportation, with hydrogen fuel cells becoming a means to reduce emissions.
Under the MOU, the parties are working toward reaching definitive agreements on a demonstration with three primary objectives.
Progress Rail plans to design and build a prototype hydrogen fuel cell locomotive for line-haul and/or other types of rail service.
Chevron expects to develop the fueling concept and infrastructure to support this use of the locomotive.
The prototype hydrogen fuel cell locomotive is expected to be demonstrated on BNSF’s lines for a mutually agreed upon period of time.
Caterpillar has made great strides in moving our advanced power technology forward. Our Progress Rail team will leverage that knowledge and experience toward a hydrogen fuel cell locomotive. Working with Chevron and BNSF will allow us to advance hydrogen technology across the industry.
As previously announced, Caterpillar Inc. is collaborating with Chevron for the demonstration of hydrogen projects in transportation and stationary power applications.
The proposed demonstration project is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements with customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. If established, additional details about the hydrogen locomotive demonstration, including where the initial pilot will take place and its timing, will be released at a later date.