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Sierra Northern Railway & Partners Conduct Public Briefing on Zero Emission Switching Locomotive

Release Date: January 10, 2023  

West Sacramento, California – January 5, 2022 – Sierra Northern Railway and partner Valley Vision conducted a public briefing of their Zero Emission Hydrogen Switching locomotive.  This webinar had several hundred registrants and was viewed by participants in eight nations, a significant number of states and a large cross section of Federal, State and local regulators as well as a broad cross section of industry insiders.

The online briefing outlined how the Sierra Northern Railway Zero Emission Locomotive will be transformative providing essential services for America’s railroads by proving the hydrogen-fueled units capable of improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the quality of life in surrounding communities. 

To view the briefing visit Valley Vision’s website: or view it on YouTube:

The Sierra Northern Railway unit will incorporate hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen storage, and battery and control technologies that will clearly be more environmentally friendly than existing motive power.

“This is the right path for the future of zero-emissions motive power,” said Kennan Beard, president and CEO of Sierra Northern. “As the lead on this project, we’re confident hydrogen is here to stay and will be the true zero emission solution adopted by the State of California for Switching Locomotives.”  By using hydrogen and batteries as Sierra has the switching locomotive will run without any emissions of NOx pollution, carbon or other particulate matter from the unit’s operation. When operational, this unit will stop using as much as 10,000 gallons of conventional diesel fuel per year.  Sierra has a stated goal of having the first zero emission switching fleet in the nation and commercializing its technology to lead the industry into the zero-emission future. 

Evan Schmidt, Valley Vision CEO stated, “we are very pleased to work with Sierra Northern Railway as they lead the locomotive industry to Zero Emissions within their own fleet, and over time as they commercialize hydrogen locomotives across the State, and ultimately throughout the Nation.”

Sierra Northern Railway (SERA) the technical lead, partnering with GTI Energy as the formal applicant to the California Energy Commission. Other technical partners are Railpower Tech LLC, Optifuel Systems LLC, UC Riverside Center For Environmental Research and Technology, Velocity Strategies, Valley Vision, Ballard Power Systems, WHA International, Southern California Gas Company, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and The Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI).

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