PHOTO CAPTION: BNSF Hydrogen Hybrid switch yard locomotive.

BNSF Rolls Out Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotive

The hydrogen-fuel train is a switch locomotive that moves train cars short distances and from track to track.

Published: 30-Jan-2010

LOS ANGELES – Freight trains that run through Orange County could soon be powered by cleaner-burning fuel – hope given by newly emerging technology announced.

Officials with Burlington Northern Santa Fe unveiled what they say is the first locomotive powered by hydrogen-fuel cells at a news conference Thursday that included Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Matt Rose, CEO of BNSF.

"We are excited to take a leadership role in this emerging technology ... that we believe will keep California competitive," Rose said.


SNCF TGV high-speed train in France.

French experience has shown that high-speed rail operates most effectively between large cities that are around 1,000 to 1,500 kilometers (600 to 930 miles) apart.

Illustration of what solar-powered bullet train might look like, courtesy of Raymond Wright.

The train would require 110 megawatts of electricity and would operate with solar power generated from overhead panels.

Double stack rail freight cars are five times more efficient that truck transport.

Federal Rail Administration study also tend to be more efficient than other types of trains.


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