The Canadian province of Ontario has signed contracts with European rail manufacturers Alstom and Siemens to create concept designs for coach trains powered by hydrogen for its GO Transit system instead of the traditional overhead wires for electrification, according to the Toronto Star.
The province has also issued a request for proposals for the design of a locomotive to pull the GO coaches that is also hydrogen-powered, according to the article.
“The decisions we make today will determine what the next 50 years of GO Transit will be,” said Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry during a press conference last week. “We need to make sure that we have carefully considered all of our options before we make a decision that will impact the landscape and the environment of our province for generations.”
The move to hydrogen power is part of a $13.5 billion expansion of the network that will include electrified parts of the network and is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The Star report said the province’s transportation department considers hydrogen a form of electrification, because hydrogen can be produced only using electricity and water and is typically emissions-free.