The railways of Latvia, Latvijas Dzelzcels or LDz, wants to built a hydrogen powered, six-axle heavy shunter locomotive. A ‘memorandum of understandig’ was signed on 11.08.2016.
The plan is that LDz subsidiary LDz Ritosa Sastava Serviss (LDz Rolling Stock Maintenance) will reconstruct an existing CME3 diesel locomotive locally, using the necessary parts and documentation from CZ Loko from the Czech Republic. Ballard Power Systems will supply fuel cells and the Latvian academy of sciences will provide support for the project.
The new hydrogen locomotive will of course be emission free during operation. Next to that, noise and vibration of the machine will be reduced compared to similar diesel shunters.
It is the third project in which LDz will cooperate with CZ Loko, after the deals for the modernization of CME3M and 2M62UM diesel locos, of which the latter project is currently ongoing.
It is not known what the new hydrogen locomotive will look like. The arty image that comes with this article is an edited picture of a modernized CME3M locomotive. CZ Loko has produced several of the machines in the past for the LDz, being heavily modernized CME3 machines that were originally produced by CKD.