Progress Rail will be part of an agreement between Caterpillar and energy company Chevron to develop a hydrogen-powered locomotive demonstration project, along with hydrogen-powered demonstrations for other transportation and stationary power uses.
Caterpillar and Chevron said the project’s goal is to show the feasibility and performance of hydrogen as an alternative fuel for line-haul rail and marine applications. They said work on the locomotive project and associated hydrogen fuel facilities would begin immediately at various U.S. locations.
“As we work to provide customers with the capability to use their desired fuel type in their operations, collaborating with Chevron is a great opportunity to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel source,” Joe Creed, Caterpillar group president of Energy & Transportation, said in a press release. “This agreement supports our commitment to investing in new products, technologies and services to help our customers achieve their climate-related objectives as they build a better, more sustainable world.” Jeff Gustavson, president of Chevron New Energies, said the collaboration with Caterpillar “is another important step toward advancing a commercially viable hydrogen economy.”
The Progress Rail projects will join several other programs seeking to develop hydrogen power for rail applications. Canadian Pacific is working on converting a diesel locomotive to hydrogen power, which it says should be operating next year [see “Canadian Pacific’s hydrogen locomotive should be operating in 2022, CEO says,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 20, 2021]. A California agency is funding development of a hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive by Sierra Northern Railway [see “California Energy Commission awards $4 million for development …,” News Wire, March 18, 2021]. And hydrogen-powered passenger trains are operating in a number of European countries, with one on order for use in Southern California [see “Development of hydrogen-powered trains continues, but battery-powered equipment making more inroads,” News Wire, Dec. 14, 2020].