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Polish train manufacturer to build hydrogen-powered locomotive this year

Polish train manufacturer Pesa Bydgoszcz will produce a hydrogen-powered locomotive by the end of 2021. The machine is already under construction, and individual components are being installed, according to the company’s CEO Krzysztof Zdziarski.

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“The design of the vehicle was first outlined, and currently, it is in the construction phase. The framework is ready, we have already received a hydrogen cell from Canada, and the tanks will arrive in a few days,” said Mr Zdziarski at the Impact 21 congress, adding that the test phase will begin “in the summer months,” no later than in September.

The head of Pesa stressed at the same time that hydrogen was not an easy energy carrier but “is very promising due to its very good physical and chemical parameters.”

“Hydrogen is clean, but also widely available – it is present in air and water; however, it can be dangerous owing to its flammability,” he said, adding that hydrogen can self-ignite and pose a threat to human’s health in case of the occurrence of leakage.

Mr Zdziarski noted that Pesa had initiated talks with governmental and certifying institutions regarding the creation of a law related to the use of hydrogen, so that everything could be ready by the time the locomotive was built.

“The project is 70 percent complete. The vehicle is built on the basis of the SM42 shunting diesel locomotive and was commissioned by Orlen Koltrans,” said Maciej Grześkowiak, Pesa’s PR Manager.

Pesa, based in Bydgoszcz, north-western Poland, is the country’s largest supplier of rail equipment, and a major exporter. Its vehicles are operated in several other places abroad, including Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Russia.

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