See: CP 1001’s First Income Draw | So Good News


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Marybeth Luczak, Managing Editor

Canadian Pacific's hydrogen fuel cell-powered linehaul freight locomotive has made its first revenue move.  (Screenshot of a CP video, from Twitter)

Canadian Pacific’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered linehaul freight locomotive has made its first revenue move. (Screenshot of a CP video, from Twitter)

Canadian Pacific’s (CP) hydrogen fuel cell-powered freight locomotive, CP 1001, has marked a milestone on October 28: its second mainline test and first revenue move.

CP on Nov. 16 reported via LinkedIn and Twitter that the linehaul unit pulled seven freight cars from a customer facility, and shared a video (above). The locomotive also pulled recently Empress, CP’s 1930s steam locomotive, in the mechanical shop in Calgary (see video below). “A century ago, the 2816 went into service moving people and goods across Canada,” CP wrote in a Nov. 16 LinkedIn post. “Today, CP Team 2816 is preparing for a special cross-continental journey from Calgary to Mexico City to celebrate the completion of the proposed CP-KCS [Kansas City Southern] merger, pending regulatory approval, and connecting a continent through the creation of CPKC [Canadian Pacific Kansas City].” CP President and CEO Keith Creel, Railway age‘s Co-Railroader of the Year for 2022, first announced the special voyage in September 2021, during an interview with editor-in-chief William C. Vantuono.

CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program started in December 2020 with the retrofitting of an existing diesel-electric linehaul locomotive. The diesel engine and traction generator have been replaced with hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology to power the unit’s electric traction motors. In November 2021, CP received a $15 million 50% grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to expand the initiative to three locomotives (now two linehaul units and a switcher), install hydrogen production facilities at two locations, and create a “global center of excellence in hydrogen and freight rail systems” in Alberta. On January 24, 2022, CP shared a video on Twitter of the fully painted locomotive, which the railway said had been running under its own power.

Creel reported at a conference in New York this month that the vision is, “by the end of next year — that’s the commitment and expectation I’ve given the team — we’ll have a hydrogen locomotive switching customers in Edmonton. A hydrogen locomotive exchange customer in Vancouver. And one exchange in Calgary.”

The next step, Creel told attendees, is to “partner with a customer—we have discussions going on right now—that has the scope and a closed-loop capability to work with us to build enough mainline locomotives so that we can prove the technology out in the toughest operating conditions, through the mountains of the Rockies west of Calgary. It’s a perfect test bed. If you can operate there: Heavy draft, cold temperatures, the most challenging operating conditions I’ve ever experienced in my career. And if it works there , it will work everywhere.”

Creel noted that the locomotive would likely run in “local service first because you still have to develop the fuel support system across the nations.”

In a related development, Calgary-based ATCO Group, through its investment in Canadian Utilities Ltd., reported in May that it provided engineering, procurement and construction services for two hydrogen production and fuel facilities in Alberta as part of CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program. In addition, Ballard Power Systems said in January that it would supply eight additional 200-kilowatt fuel cell modules to CP this year; CP ordered the first six 200 kilowatt fuel cell modules from Ballard in March 2021.

CP President and CEO Keith Creel (pictured) and KCS President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer received Railway Age’s 2022 Railroader of the Year Award.


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