The latest strategy of Bydgoszcz-based Pesa for the years 2021-2025 continues the direction taken more than two years ago of a gradual departure from internal combustion engines on the railway. Hydrogen locomotives are expected to make a difference.
According to the “Green Deal” implemented by the European Commission, transport emissions should decrease by 30 per cent by 2030, and two decades later they are to disappear completely. According to Krzysztof Zdziarski, President of Pesa Bydgoszcz S.A., “achieving this goal without the implementation of hydrogen technology in rail transport is virtually impossible.
The EU wants to spend between €180 and €480 billion by 2050 on strategic investments in hydrogen technologies for transport. Not surprisingly, low-emission rail transport is a priority in the company’s latest strategy, written out to 2025 and beyond. With this in mind, a new platform for the Pesa Regio160 passenger trains has already been designed, based on electric traction powered by the catenary, batteries or hydrogen cells.
Krzysztof Zdziarski points out the “autonomy features” of the new vehicle.
“A complete novelty for this type of locomotives is the use of radio remote control, which makes it possible to switch to one-man operation during shunting”- he indicates.
The first Pesa hydrogen locomotive is equipped with a monitoring system, consisting of track and coupling cameras and a camera with a microphone in the driver’s compartment. The vehicle is distinguished by its design, and an important element of the design is the location of the driver’s cab in the middle section, which gives the locomotive a modern look while increasing the field of vision and driver’s safety.
Hydrogen took its first steps on the railways in Germany, among other places. It uses the field-proven Corradia Lint54 combustion vehicle, which incorporates a hydrogen propulsion system. The first hydrogen traction units were tested in Lower Saxony. Our western neighbours also take a comprehensive approach to this. At the same time, they are preparing the necessary infrastructure. The construction of the first stationary hydrogen refuelling point for rail vehicles has already begun in the Bremerhaven area. Operational tests of hydrogen vehicles have also started in Great Britain, China and Spain, among others.