News & Reviews News Wire CSX debuts its first hydrogen-fuel cell locomotive (updated)

CSX debuts its first hydrogen-fuel cell locomotive (updated)

By Bill Stephens | April 16, 2024

The switcher, No. 2100, was converted to hydrogen power at the railroad’s shop in Huntington, W.Va., as part of its partnership with CPKC

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CSX No. 2100 is the railroad’s first hydrogen fuel cell locomotive. CSX

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – CSX today debuted its first hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive, which was converted from a conventional four-axle unit using a kit supplied by Canadian Pacific Kansas City.

The locomotive, GP38H2 No. 2100, was built at CSX’s Huntington Locomotive Shop in West Virginia, which is handling hydrogen fuel cell conversions under a partnership with CPKC.

“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,” CEO Joe Hinrichs said in a statement. “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.”

The 2100 conversion reused several components – including the frame, cab, traction, motors, and trucks – from CSX GP40-2 No. 6041, a 1972 EMD that was delivered as Baltimore & Ohio No. 4141.

The locomotive made its debut less than 12 months after CSX and CPKC announced their collaboration last summer [see “CPKC and CSX team up …,” Trains News Wire, June 22, 2023]. CPKC has two low-horsepower hydrogen fuel cell locomotives in service, and has plans to test a high-horsepower, six-axle unit in revenue coal service this year in British Columbia. The road locomotive is currently undergoing testing, CPKC spokesman Patrick Waldron says.

CSX says it will deploy the 2100 for field testing around Huntington so officials can further evaluate its performance and operational feasibility.

The railroad also released a video announcing the locomotive’s debut.

Note: Updated at 9:24 p.m. Central with additional details from CSX.

CSX’s first hydrogen fuel cell locomotive sits outside the Huntington, W.Va., locomotive shop. CSX

3 thoughts on “CSX debuts its first hydrogen-fuel cell locomotive (updated)

  1. diesel locomotives running on bio fuels can help the environment too in addition to hydrogen and battery locomotives

    1. Very insightful, Kris! This forum needs more input from ‘folks” like you.

  2. Let’s hope this approach works better than the Gensets. Wonder how much the hydrogen re-fueling system will cost, and the all-in delivery price of the hydrogen at the refueling yard. Could be an expensive experiment.

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