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An effective transportation system is necessary to sustain global competitiveness, maintain and increase the standard of living, and efficiently use resources while protecting the environment. Railways are a vital part of the transportation sector enabling business opportunities and offering mobility to people. Our research focuses on scientific knowledge creation and application across the railway ecosystem, developing solutions to problems that the sector faces enabling railways to sustainably meet current demand and accommodate growth to the benefit of society and business. We have two primary research areas that are described below:

Low- and Zero-Emission Motive Power Research

Emissions, fuel price volatility, and high capital cost for wayside electrification impact railways and their customers. Zero-emission or near-zero emission, cost-effective solutions are necessary for rail to remain a viable transportation mode, for expansion, and to competitively and sustainably meet current demand and accommodate growth. CRRE has world-leading expertise in alternative and zero-emission motive power, including:

  • hydrogen fuel cell systems for railway applications (Hydrail)
  • energy storage systems, such as batteries
  • discontinuous electrification with wired and wireless power transfer/charging
  • technology evaluation for various railway services
  • techno-economic appraisals
  • train performance modelling to determine energy consumption and emissions
  • conceptual motive power and powertrain development

We have contributed to several projects globally, including conceptual and demonstrator vehicle development, published numerous scientific articles, presented at international conferences, and conducted research for industry and government clients.


Railroad Optimization Research: Customer/Supplier/Investor Relationships

Deliver a long-lasting, positive impact for all key stakeholders (shippers, carriers, and investors) associated with the rail and transportation industry. Improve performance through collaboration. Explore criteria and objectives such as planning, technology, information, open bi/multi-lateral communication, end-to-end supply chain visibility, preparedness, and long-term trust and value creation.

January 2018

Our Executive Director, Andreas Hoffrichter, gave a presentation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a recording is available at the link below.

Overview of Alternative Motive Power and Hydrogen Fuel Propulsion for Rail Vehicles


For more information regarding our research activity please contact Andreas or Nick.

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