Tests of the PESA hydrogen locomotive carried out by Ciech Cargo

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Polish rolling stock manufacturer PESA has announced that tests of the first shunting hydrogren locomotive to be developed in Poland have been carried out this month on the railway siding in Inowrocław, which belongs to the Ciech Group.

The tested SM42-6Dn is a locomotive manufactured by PESA Bydgoszcz. The locomotive’s tanks have a capacity of 175kg of hydrogen, and the traction system also includes two fuel cells, 85kW each, a battery and four traction motors.

This is the first hydrogen locomotive of this type in Europe, authorised by the Polish Office of Rail Transport, PESA noted.

“According to PESA, we have two grounds for satisfaction,” said Maciej Grześkowiak, director of strategic initiatives and communication at PESA. “Firstly, there is another client interested in our SM42-6Dn model and secondly, during tests on the siding in Inowrocław, the locomotive, as part of normal shunting movement, pulled a 43-car train at a speed of 10km/h with a gross load of over 2,200 tonnes in continuous operation, confirming its high operational parameters.”

The tests were intended to check the functionality of the locomotive in the shunting conditions for which it was designed. Due to the specific nature of siding services provided by Ciech Cargo, it was possible to test various configurations of train sets.

During the tests, shunting movements were carried out which are normally performed on a siding by shunting locomotives currently operated by Ciech Cargo. Various combinations were tested, starting with entire loaded trains placed on the sidings after arriving from the country, shunting movements on the siding, and moving – following unloading – the empty trains out of the siding to the Inowroclaw Chemia station.

“Ciech Cargo aims to conduct its business in a responsible manner, striving to reduce its carbon footprint. By testing modern hydrogen technology, we not only want to take care of the environment, but also to improve the work standard of our employees, which, apart from safety, is our priority. We are convinced that our cooperation with PESA Bydgoszcz and innovative approach will allow us to achieve further success and develop the company,” said Maciej Kempski, member of the management board of Ciech Cargo.

A special team was established within the Ciech Group, led by Kempski, whose task is to examine the feasibility of using hydrogen technology during shunting movements on sidings in Inowrocław and Janikowo.

The experience from the tests will be used by Ciech Cargo when deciding to replace the diesel shunting locomotives used for many years with other modern locomotives, and by the manufacturer in the next stages of hydrogen technology development.

“After replacing worn-out electric locomotives with new ones, we are looking for an alternative that could also replace the diesel locomotives used for decades,” explained Andrzej Pawłowski, president of the management board at Ciech Cargo. “Modern locomotives, on the one hand, contribute to reducing exhaust emissions and, on the other hand, mean improved working conditions of our employees. Both issues reflect the operations of the Ciech Group as part of the ESG strategy.”