Cummins has been working withe several OEMs and train manufacturers to produce fuel cell based trains which can operate emission free on non-electrified lines which are presently dominated by diesel powered trains.

Cummins has developed a 200 KW heavy duty fuel cell system which can be safely mounted on the roof of trains . Even the hydrogen can be stored either overhead or in tanks designed into the chassis of the trains. Trains powered by these systems have completed 180,000 km of journey. The system is more efficient than battery powered trains because these trains can operate for more than 18 hours once fueled and the downtime for refueling is just 20 minutes, even less than the time required to refuel a diesel locomotive.

Image Courtesy Cummins

Cummins systems have already been deployed on trains operating commercially. Cummins 200kW fuel cell system is the world’s first heavy-duty fuel cell composition with fuel cell power modules, water management, hydrogen management, power systems, heat management and control system, all in a roof-mounted rack.

The trains use light weight traction motors which are more efficient and silent than other systems available. In order to manage the power requirements during a variable speed operation, light weight batteries are installed which charge when the fuel cell is generating more power and discharge during acceleration and high speed operations.

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