HDF Energy Develops a Hydrogen Locomotive

HDF Energy

HDF Energy and Captrain France, a subsidiary of SNCG, are developing hydrogen locomotives. Thus, they will help to decarbonize French and European rail freight.

HDF Energy and Captrain France launch the HyShunt project. This is the first step in the collaboration between HDF Energy and Captrain France. This is a retrofit project of a locomotive powered by a diesel engine.

This 700 kW vehicle will incorporate a low-carbon electric propulsion system powered by renewable or low-carbon hydrogen. This operation is made possible by a high-powered fuel cell developed by HDF Energy.

HDF Energy wants to decarbonize rail freight

Today, rail freight carries only 9% of the goods transported in France. This figure rises to 17.3% at the European Union level. Nevertheless, the government wants to revitalize this mode of transport. In fact, it is less polluting than road transport. Thus, the government plans to double the modal share of rail freight by 2030. It should then increase to 25% by 2050.

The French rail network is 58% electrified. Thus, the development of dual-mode electric and hydrogen solutions enables us to cover the entire network and industrial sites. The HyShunt project intends to demonstrate that retrofitting a locomotive can achieve the objectives of decarbonizing rail freight.

In addition, it allows HDF Energy to continue the development of high power fuel cell systems for rail mobility. The two partners then rely on their complementarity. Damien Havard, PDR of HDF Energy, enthuses:

“We are very pleased to unveil today this ambitious project to develop an essential solution for decarbonizing rail transport. In our strategic roadmap, we announced our ambition to seize opportunities to accelerate the development of the hydrogen industry worldwide. Today we are demonstrating our ability to accelerate the movement through this partnership that will bring together the unique technological know-how of Captain France in the field of heavy rail mobility and HDF Energy in the field of high-powered fuel cells.”

Develop a French and regional industrial sector

HyShunt allows the creation and development of a new field of expertise and the jobs associated with it. In addition, the project promotes the reuse of existing materials. Captrain France will supply a locomotive built in the 1950s. The project will extend its life.

Stéphane Derlincourt, President of Captrain France, states:

“I am delighted to sign this partnership with HDF, whose level of expertise is unique. At Captrain France, we are very enthusiastic about the idea of developing the very first zero-emission locomotive for our customers’ industrial sites. The urgent concerns about global warming are generating adaptations on all sides and freight transport is no exception. This locomotive is equipped with future-oriented technology and will be completely innovative. Thanks to it, there will be no more greenhouse gases, which are harmful to our health and our planet.

This first locomotive is part of the hydrogen ecosystem being developed in Moselle. In addition, it is part of the Grande Région Hydrogen initiative, the first cross-border Hydrogen Valley. Thus, it involves French, German and Luxembourg industrial partners.

The high-powered fuel cell will be produced in the future HDF Energy plant. It will be located in Blanquefort. It should be operational in 2023.

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