Pesa starts building a prototype hydrogen locomotive

In September, Pesa will present a hydrogen shunting diesel locomotive of its own design. The prototype will then be tested at the Orlen plant in Plock, President Pesa Krzysztof Zdziarski said during the spring Impact CEE.

Pesa starts building a prototype hydrogen locomotive
Picture: Pesa

The first Polish hydrogen diesel locomotive will be single-cabin, designed for maneuvering at stations or industrial plants, informs Railway Supply magazine with reference to Rynek Kolejowy.

The first components are ready, including frames and Canadian-made hydrogen cells. More coming soon. “We plan to launch and start testing in September,” announced Krzysztof Zdziarski. The premiere is planned at the TRAKO railway exhibition.

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The company has been working on the hydrogen engine for the second year already. The Bydgoszcz-based manufacturer has established cooperation on this issue with many leading research centers. An agreement was also made with a potential first buyer. “Together with Orlen, we came to the conclusion that the refinery in Plock would be a good place to test the machine and train personnel to work with it,” said Krzysztof Zdziarski. According to him, the experience of employees of the Polish fuel concern in working with hazardous substances will minimize the risk.

Pesa starts building a prototype hydrogen locomotive
Picture: Pesa

“The success of the introduction of new technologies largely depends on the legal environment. As engineers, we must support institutions that create laws and regulate, for example, the testing process. We are participating in these works.” According to the President of Pesa it is necessary to somehow reward carriers for using hydrogen technology. “This stimulates demand in different EU countries”, he added.

The fuel of the future is promising but dangerous

According to the President of Pesa, hydrogen is not an easy-to-use energy carrier, but very promising. “Many engineers see a great future in this. It has very good physical and chemical parameters. It’s clean and widely available. We just need to learn how to manage it in order to eliminate the danger. Hydrogen is also highly flammable and explosive”, he listed the advantages and disadvantages of the new fuel.

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The President assured that the company has been working to reduce the intensity of emissions for a long time. “We strive for this, for example, using catalysts or engines with lower emission of harmful substances. However, these are short-term actions,” he admitted. A more future-oriented solution is, among other things, the expansion of the production of battery-powered locomotives, as well as the aforementioned work with hydrogen rolling stock.

Pesa starts building a prototype hydrogen locomotive
Picture: Pesa

According to Krzysztof Zdziarski, although Japanese and German companies are still ahead of Pesa in terms of the pace of work, there is still a chance that the locomotive of the Polish company will be the first in our part of the world. “Pesa is a very young company, our history starts at the beginning of the 21st century. Our team is also young. However, we already have 20 years of experience, an ambitious team of engineers and manufacturers.”

He stressed that even the world’s industry leaders say that Poland is the territory of Pesa. “Despite the turmoil, we managed to survive in the market, and our clients did not lose faith in us. “We were the first to implement the User Experience program – we survey not only carriers, but also passengers, and adapt to their preferences,” he said.

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