Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group Convenes Panel on
Hydrogen-Powered Valley Link Passenger Rail System
Pleasanton, CA, May 10, 2023 – On Wednesday, May 17th, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group will host representatives from the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, Linde Engineering North America and Stadler US to present plans for implementation of the first passenger rail system In California to operate on self-produced green hydrogen. The proposed Valley Link passenger rail system project includes a hydrogen fuel production facility that supplies clean energy to other transit and heavy truck operators. To date, the state has invested in a number of hydrogen vehicle technologies and several transit agencies in California are producing their own hydrogen fuel. The sustainability vision of the Valley Link rail project seeks to significantly expand on this concept and supports the potential to maximize the outcomes of clean hydrogen production through public-private partnership with expertise from the hydrogen production industry.
With overall traffic on Interstate 580 projected to increase by an estimated 60 percent by 2040, the Valley Link project will remove tens of thousands of cars off Interstates 580 and 205 – removing up to 42,650 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Authority’s green hydrogen production facility is a bold vision to establish a megaregional green hydrogen hub integrating production and use by the transportation sector. ITV looks forward to working with the Authority along with other public and community partners to advance this vision to meet the transportation, environmental, and economic needs of the Tri-Valley and Northern California megaregion now and into the future”, said Tim Sbranti, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group.
“Valley Link’s goal to operate zero-emission, hydrogen rail vehicles makes it a model of environmental and economic sustainability. Valley Link’s self-produced, green hydrogen will reduce the cost of the overall project operations for the public and offset state and federal transit subsidies,” said Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez, Chair of the Authority Board of Directors. “The project’s vision also supports opportunities to create and sustain new living wage jobs in both the hydrogen fuel production and related renewable energy industries. This is good for both the economy and the environment.”
In December of 2022, the Authority entered into a strategic collaboration with Linde Engineering North America for the advancement of the proposed Valley Link clean hydrogen production facility. The Authority’s action on the strategic collaboration with Linde supports the project as a public-private partnership to leverage Linde’s expertise from the private sector hydrogen production industry including Linde’s ability to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain an electrolytic hydrogen production, storage, and distribution facility. Linde is recognized as a world leader in the production, processing, storage, and distribution of hydrogen, and owns and operates one of the largest hydrogen capacity and distribution systems in the United States. Linde is also able to uniquely support the resiliency of hydrogen vehicle operations through the direct supply of liquid hydrogen as Linde owns and operates the largest merchant hydrogen supply network in North America, comprised of five hydrogen liquefaction production plants, including a production facility in Ontario, California.
In September of 2022, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Stadler US for the design and delivery of four hydrogen four-car zero-emission rail multiple unit (ZEMU) trains with options for 25 more trains to replace existing diesel locomotives operating state-funded Amtrak California services. The new trains are based on a two-car ZEMU train CalSTA awarded $30 million in state Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) funds to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to develop with Stadler in 2019. This two-car train is scheduled to be delivered to SBCTA for operations on their Redlands Arrow project in 2024 and also meet Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requirements to run on heavy freight railroad lines.
Background on Valley Link
Valley Link will ultimately close a critical gap in the statewide rail system with a 42-mile, 7 station rail connection between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and the North Lathrop Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) station with all day service on BART frequencies during peak periods.
The 22-mile initial operating phase between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and the Mountain House Community station, including the Isabel and South Front Road stations in Livermore, is targeted for construction in 2025. In addition to the use of zero emissions vehicle and green energy production technologies, the Valley Link Board-adopted Sustainability Policy identifies implementing strategies to achieve a zero-emissions system through innovative station access. This includes electric autonomous shuttles, shared mobility, and support for local transit operator alternative vehicle technology.
Additional information on the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, is available on the Regional Rail Authority’s website at www.valleylinkrail.com.
About Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group:
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and civic leaders in the Tri-Valley region. ITV showcases the region as a technology and innovation powerhouse, outpacing the Bay Area mega-region in both job creation and economic growth.
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