The train of this week is a locomotive unveiled in 2009 by the BNSF Railway.  Instead of using conventional diesel fuel, it is powered by hydrogen fuel cells (I have very limited knowledge in this area, so please feel free to comment on this post if you are interested in and familiar with the topic of hydrogen fuel cells).  It is called the HH20B, a hydrogen-hybrid switcher locmotive based on the GG20B Green Goat diesel-hybrid switcher built by Railpower Technologies Corp. of Brossard, Quebec (acquired by R.J. Corman Railroad Group of Nicholasville, Kentucky in 2009).  The GG20B is powered by a 300 hp 4-stroke Caterpillar diesel-engine and a battery pack with a combined tractive output of 2,000 hp.  On the HH20B, diesel engine is replaced by hydrogen fuel cells.  Hydrogen storage is in a set of tanks installed on top of the long hood of the locomotive in a heavily vented enclosure, above the batteries.

The BNSF Railway displaying its low- and ultra low-emission locomotives
3GS21B (Left), HH20B (Centre), ES44C4 (Right)

BNSF Executives showing the HH20B to Governor Schwarzenegger of California

The GG20B (base model of the HH20B) weighs 280,000 lbm (127 t) and provides a starting tractive effort of 80,000 lbf (356 kN).  The technical details of the HH20B is unavailable at the time.

Railpower GG20B in factory livery

We might as well let the GO Transit wait a few more weeks.  Let's see a couple pictures and/or a video of something fast next week.


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