Ballard Power Systems has received an order for additional fuel cell modules from Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). These eighteen 200 kW fuel cell engines are planned for delivery in 2023 and will support the expansion of CPKC’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program.
Ballard supplied CPKC with 20 fuel cell engines for use in three different types of locomotives over the past two years that underwent field testing in 2022 and early 2023. On the strength of these tests, CPKC has ordered 18 further modules.
As part of the Hydrogen Locomotive Program, CPKC is converting three different types of diesel–electric locomotives into hydrogen–powered locomotives using fuel cells and batteries to power electric traction motors.
In June just passed, CPKC signed a collaboration agreement with CSX Corporation to build and develop hydrogen locomotive conversion kits to decarbonise its diesel-electric locomotives. CSX will convert one of its diesel locomotives using the hydrogen conversion kit that CPKC has developed.
Ballard says that “Further development on range across temperature variations, heavy hauling, fine tuning auxiliary load to avoid waste, increased number of hours on current and additional units will support continued technological evolution.”
The cooperation with Ballard goes back to 2021, when Ballard Power Systems announced that Canadian Pacific would employ Ballard fuel cell modules for its Hydrogen Locomotive Program.
As a unified transport authority, it was only in April this year that CPKC resulted from the merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern. The rail network now includes the first and only single-line railway connecting Canada, Mexico, and the United States. CPKC itself is headquartered in Calgary. The rail transport authority’s Hydrogen Locomotive program aims to develop North America’s first line–haul hydrogen–powered freight locomotive.