Fuel Cell Locomotives and Supporting Fuel Networks

Energy, environment, and sustainability are central to the mix technology and economy in a world of population pressure and depleting energy supplies which are of a traditional nature. TGI Systems staff were some of the first thinkers who suggested replacing the diesel engine of diesel-electric locomotives with hydrogen fuel cells. This makes sense from an engineering perspective because diesel-electric locomotives are already electric, and they typically add power in incremental steps from Stop to Train 8.

However, the true magic of this union is not what hydrogen can do for rail, but what rail can do for the developing hydrogen economy. The petroleum-based energy economy we currently operate under enjoys an installed economy of scale. There are hundreds of thousands of fuel stations already built and in use, drilling platforms, refineries, and fuel tankers. A hydrogen energy economy must first be established as a competitor to these installed pieces of infrastructure, at an anticipated cost considered extreme.

The key here is that locomotives have a range in excess of 500 miles and that rail networks connect major economic hubs. This means very few fueling stations are needed to seed a new energy economy (perhaps less than twenty for the United States). And indeed, this particular transportation mode has carried the majority of economic activity for many countries for many years.

The papers and presentations below are a cross section of the work Dr. Wyman and TGI Systems, Inc. has performed in support of the hydrogen rail initiative. Additional papers are provided which also support the overall hydrogen initiative.