By using this site, you agree with our cookies usage in accordance with our cookies policy. You can always disable cookies in your browser settings.



CZ Loko has announced hydrogen shunter development

24 November 2021
Reading time ~ 4 min
3D-model of HydrogenShunter 1000 locomotive by CZ Loko
3D-model of HydrogenShunter 1000 locomotive by CZ Loko. Source: CZ Loko
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 4 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Czech Republic: As it is indicated by the manufacturer, the design of a new shunter is currently at the feasibility study. However, at the moment the most advanced in hydrogen locomotives development are CRRC, Pesa and Talgo.

The HydrogenShunter 1000’s maximum power is planned to be up to 800 kW, while the fuel cells will be used to recharge the main traction batteries. The locomotive is reported to be designed on the basis of the EffiShunter 1000 platform, which CZLoko introduced in 2012 and supplies around the world. The company has not specified the timeframe for the completion of the feasibility study.

The HydrogenShunter 1000 is a part of CZ Loko’s strategy for a new line of hybrid traction locomotives to enter the market. The first such vehicle, the HybridShunter 400, was introduced in 2019, and its propulsion system included batteries and a diesel engine.

742.71 series modernized shunting locomotive for CD Cargo. Source: CZ Loko

This year manufacturers have become notably active in announcements of hydrogen locomotives projects. At the moment, the most advanced are CRRC, Pesa and Talgo. Early in 2021 CRRC has presented a prototype and in October it has been sent for trials. Its power output declared at the level of 700 kW, and the traction is provided by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

Pesa has presented its hydrogen shunting locomotive in September 2021. The declared power output is 720 kW, and the traction system is similar to what CRRC locomotives’ one.

At the same time Talgo announced in September that it would test hydrogen locomotive in the coming months. Talgo locomotive’s hybrid traction includes fuel cells and power supply from the catenary.

For the rest of the projects there are only statements at the moment. Wabtec is planning to bring its hydrogen locomotive to the market in 2023. Another manufacturer from the US, ProgressRail, is developing such locomotives under a partnership agreement between parent Caterpillar and Chevron. Also at the end of 2020 Canadian Pacific Railway (CP Rail) announced that it would retrofit its mainline diesel locomotive for hybrid hydrogen-battery traction. Recently CP Rail has been awarded a grant, which should allow to increase the number of retrofitted locomotives up to 3 units.

In Asia, the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) has reported about the development of a 2.7 MW hydrogen locomotive traction system. The work is being carried out jointly with Hyundai Rotem, and the project should be completed by the end of 2024.

In the Russian & CIS region such work is carried out by Sinara – Transport Machines (STM). In June STM signed an agreement with Russian Railways and Rusnano on the development of hybrid traction locomotives (hydrogen + batteries) both for mainline and shunting operations. As First Deputy CEO of STM Innovative Development Center Kirill Kolesnikov recently reported, the production of the first shunter is planned for 1Q2026 and of the mainline – for 3Q2027.

The Estonian national freight operator, Operail, is following the path of CP Rail. It has signed an agreement with Stargate Hydrogen to convert 40 mainline diesel locomotives to hybrid hydrogen-battery traction for shunting applications. It is assumed that by the end of 2022 one of the operated by Operail C36-7A locomotives (manufacturer by GE) will have been modernized. A decision for retrofitting of the rest locomotive will be made based on the results of the first locomotive operation.