By Stephen Nakrosis 

Southern California Gas Co. on Wednesday said it would work with Sierra Northern Railway and others to develop and test a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell engine that could be used in switcher locomotives.

Switcher locomotives are mainly used over short distances and to move cars within a railyard or other facility.

The company said the California Energy Commission awarded Sierra Northern Railway and Gas Technology Institute almost $4 million for the project, which includes a demonstration of the locomotive in Sacramento. SoCalGas is contributing another $500,000 toward research, it said.

Neil Navin, SoCalGas Vice President of Clean Energy Innovations, said, "We believe hydrogen fuel cell-powered locomotives can play a significant role in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the railways that serve California's ports and warehouses." He also said, "This research is just part of our efforts to lead the transition to clean fuels in California and it supports our commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations and delivery of energy by 2045."

SoCalGas is a subsidiary of energy services holding company Sempra.


-Write to Stephen Nakrosis at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2021 14:14 ET (18:14 GMT)

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