The railway giants in Canada, CN and CP are testing zero-emission locomotives to haul freight trains. CN is more focused on testing battery-electric locomotives, and CP has been testing hydrogen locomotives. There’s another smaller railway, Southern Railway of B.C., is working on hydrogen locomotives as well.
The transportation sector is the second largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions after oil and gas. But according to the Railway Association of Canada, railways generate only 3.5 per cent of transportation emissions. Still with the government’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets, rail companies are being pressured to make the switch.
Gord Lovegrove, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia Okanagan said that diesel-burning trains generate a lot of other pollutants as well. These include nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter, and sulphur dioxide which is linked to acid rain.
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