TOPEKA | The nation's first hydrogen-powered fuel cell locomotive has made its first trip, although it was just a short one.
Officials from BNSF Railway Co. and the Defense Department were on hand in Topeka on Monday for the prototype locomotive's unveiling. Afterward, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback hopped aboard as the locomotive moved up and down the tracks at BNSF's Topeka System Maintenance Terminal.
BNSF and the Army announced plans in January 2008 to develop the hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine. BNSF says the locomotive has the potential to reduce air pollution.
The locomotive won't be pulling freight trains anytime soon. It heads now to Colorado for additional tests, then goes to California for more tests on the viability of the hydrogen technology.
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Information from: The Topeka Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com