NCDOT Planning America’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train Line Between Charlotte and Raleigh


The North Carolina DOT recently announced plans for our country’s first ‘hydrail’ line between Charlotte and Raleigh.

Lynn Harris, the senior project engineer at the NCDOT’s consulting firm McDowell Engineering & Associates, told the Statesville Record and Landmark “this would be the first of its type in this country.”

Hydrogen-powered fuel cells produce electric energy but only emit water vapor, unlike the polluting emissions that diesel and electric passenger trains emit, Harris said, adding that hydrail engines are also significantly cheaper to operate and maintain.

The world’s first Hydrogen-powered trains began service last September on a 100 KM line between the German cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervorde and Buxtehude.

On March 29th, the US Departments of Transportation and Energy and the NC DOT will meet with international representatives to discuss the next steps for America’s first hydrail service between Charlotte and Raleigh.