PESA unveils new hydrogen-powered locomotive at TRAKO fair

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Polish railway vehicle manufacturer PESA has unveiled its new hydrogen shunting locomotive at the TRAKO International Railway Fair in Gdańsk, Poland.

The company worked with railway operator PKP SA and energy corporation PKN Orlen to develop the new locomotive, which will help accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered technologies in Poland. The locomotive will be put into service next year at an oil refinery in Płock in central Poland.

The hydrogen locomotive, called the SM42-6Dn, is a four-axle shunting locomotive with four 180kW traction motors. It has been equipped with an innovative power source, which is a zero-emission hydrogen drive. Two hydrogen cells manufactured by Ballard are responsible for generating energy.

The 85kW cell is a system that generates voltage from the chemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen from the atmosphere. Hydrogen is taken from tanks with a total capacity of 175kg. One refueling allows for 24-hour shunting of the locomotive. The locomotive has also been equipped with an autonomous driving system and an obstacle recognition system.

Polish minister of infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk said, “This locomotive is the beginning of the road to a Polish passenger hydrogen-powered train and another step on the way to the goal of a safe, comfortable and ecological Polish railway.”

The SM42-6Dn locomotive presented at TRAKO is a prototype, which was developed by Bydgoszcz constructors in partnership with domestic and foreign technology partners, including ABB, Ballard, Worthington, Luccini, Rawag, TSA and CADD.

In recent years PESA has focused its entire product strategy on the development of low-emission rail transport. Its new PESA Regio160 passenger vehicle platform was designed, for example, based on electric drives powered by overhead lines or by battery or hydrogen cells.

According to PESA, the first hydrogen-powered PESA passenger vehicle will go into operation on track in 2025/26.