• Hegazi, M., Wong, D., Aitken, H., Hoffrichter, A. (2024). Advancing the Use of Hydrogen and Electrification in the Rail Industry. Canadian Standards Association, Toronto, ON.

Executive Summary

The compounding effects of climate change and the resulting global push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have spurred a need to advance zero-emission (ZE) propulsion technologies across all transportation modes. Both the Canadian and American federal emission reduction targets and long-term strategies to decarbonize the transportation sector identify ZE propulsion in the rail sector as part of their action plans.

The advancement, widespread adoption, and safe and reliable use of ZE rail propulsion technologies depends on the development of codes and standards specific to these technologies operating in a rail environment. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of codes and standards relevant to two prominent ZE propulsion technologies: hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

As an initial step, gaps in the current codes and standards landscape were identified through a review of the existing codes and standards applicable to ZE technologies and interviews with industry experts. Based on an analysis of the existing landscape and expert input from a variety of industry sources, gaps were prioritized according to their importance and urgency with respect to ZE rail technology advancement, and a roadmap for developing applicable codes and standards was created.

The topics rated as most important for standardization development included component and subsystem design, crashworthiness, hydrogen refuelling, and battery charging. The development of codes and standards related to these key topics will be crucial in supporting safe and dependable use of these propulsion technologies.