Locomotive being powered by Accelera hydrogen fuel cells

Cummins says its Accelera brand has achieved a significant milestone with its first first hydrogen fuel-cell powered locomotive for use in freight rail in Austria.

The Columbus based engine manufacturer combined its various zero-emissions solutions offerings last year under the new Accelera brand. According to the company the fuel cells are powering a vehicle designed for the HY2Rail project, in partnership with the Austrian railway authority. The project is meant to demonstrate how fuel cells can meet the power needs of heavy-duty locomotives.

An Austrian engineering consultancy, m.ZERO, integrated Accelera fuel cell power modules into a customized system that meets strict rail vehicle standards. The system has a hybrid propulsion system that includes cutting-edge electronics, on-board hydrogen storage, a vehicle control unit, and software.

The transformed locomotive was previously a construction and maintenance railcar, which relied on a diesel-electric propulsion system. With the new fuel cell electric system, it now runs emissions free.

Photo provided by Cummins Inc.