Sierra Northern Hydrogen Locomotive Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Energy Commission
Document Title
Sierra Northern Hydrogen Locomotive Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The purpose of this project is to design and integrate a hydrogen fuel cell module, onboard hydrogen storage, and a battery module to collectively provide a zero-emission alternative to diesel switcher locomotives. The project will convert an existing diesel switcher locomotive to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell operation. The project will demonstrate the hydrogen fuel cell switcher locomotive and analyze in-service performance data over six months with Sierra Northern Railway, a Class III short line railroad that serves the Port of West Sacramento. Research, design, assembly, and data analysis for the hydrogen fuel cell locomotive will take place at existing laboratory and industrial sites. The demonstration activities involve using the hydrogen fuel cell locomotive in existing rail services conducted by Sierra Northern Railway. This agreement is intended to lead to ratepayer benefits including local and regional air quality improvements and greenhouse gas emission reductions by enabling hydrogen use in the rail sector.

Contact Information

Peter Chen
Agency Name
Commission Agreement Manager
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Northern California
Cross Streets
3263-3235 Industrial Blvd

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15306
Reasons for Exemption
This project is exempt under Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, Section 15306 because it primarily focuses on information collection efforts related to the design and use of a hydrogen switcher locomotive. Data collection and analysis on performance and energy usage parameters will be done within existing laboratory and industrial environments. The project demonstration location is a zoned industrial area with existing rail access.


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