Accelera by Cummins commissions first fuel cell-powered freight loco

Fuel cell-powered freight locomotive Fuel cell-powered freight locomotive (Photo: Accelera by Cummins)

Following on from celebrating its first year in business, Accelera by Cummins has reported the commissioning of its first fuel cell-powered freight locomotive.

The project replaced the diesel generators of a light on-track machine (OTM) vehicle for the HY2RAIL project.

Completed in partnership with OBB, the Austrian rail authority, the HY2RAIL project is intended to demonstrate how fuel cells can meet the power needs of heavy-duty freight locomotives.

The project involved installation of a 120 kW fuel cell system from Accelera by Cummins in an OBB X534 construction and maintenance railcar. The system meets rail vehicle standards, including European EN 61373, which outlines testing requirements for railway applications focusing on shock and vibration.

Integration was carried out by Austrian engineering consultancy m.ZERO, which managed all balance-of-plant components and interfaces with support from Accelera.

The fuel cell system was then combined with li-ion battery packs to create a hybrid propulsion system which features power electronics, on-board H2 storage tech, vehicle control unit and related software.

Alison Trueblood, GM of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Accelera, said: “Alongside our experience with passenger trains, this project enhances our ability to support the dynamic rail market, further demonstrating the viability of hydrogen technology for zero-emissions heavy-duty transport.”

“Modernizing to zero-emission technology isn’t just feasible, it’s an economically and environmentally savvy choice. We are ready to support rail OEMs in their zero-emission endeavours and eager to collaborate with Accelera again on any upcoming projects,” said Herbert Wancura, CEO of m.ZERO.

A portion of the necessary financing was provided by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.


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