Province to pursue clean-train tech
Silent hydrogen trains emit only steam, water
The provincial government has decided to pursue potentially groundbreaking clean train technology as part of its plans to electrify the GO Transit network.
At an announcement Thursday morning, the province is set to officially launch the long-awaited study and public consultation process on electrifying GO lines under its regional express rail (RER) program.
The Ontario Liberals say the $13.5-billion RER expansion will introduce all-day, two-way GO service on the busiest parts of the GTHA’s regional rail network by 2025. The assessment of the program’s environmental impacts is part of the governmentmandated transit project assessment process (TPAP) that must be complete before the expansion can go ahead.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca confirmed that in conjunction with the electrification assessment, the province will also launch a feasibility study of hydrogen-powered passenger trains.
Passenger trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells have yet to enter regular service anywhere in the world, but early models have reached advanced testing phases in Europe. Manufacturers say the trains are nearly silent, and produce no emissions besides steam and condensed water.
The feasibility study will help determine whether hydrogen trains might be a better option for the RER program than traditional electric vehicles.
Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency for the GTHA, will lead the study. Groundbreaking clean-train technology is on the table for the Go transit network.
torstar news service