Today’s Pickup: California planning nation’s first hydrogen rail project

hydrogen fuel cell train

Good day,

Hydrogen fuel cell trucks are making inroads at California ports and now the state is planning the nation’s first zero-emission “hydrail” project, Forbes magazine reports. The nine-mile line will run in southern California, where the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority plans to operate a FLIRT H2 train from Swiss supplier Stadler starting in 2024. The first train will include two cars and a rooftop power pack containing fuel cells and hydrogen tanks, under a contract worth $23.5 million, according to Forbes, with an option to purchase four more trains. 

Hydrogen-powered trains are already up and running in Germany, and China unveiled the first fuel cell tram in 2015.

Did you know?

Cargo plane crashes accounted for six of the 20 fatal airliner accidents that occurred in 2019. Sixteen people died in the cargo accidents, and 283 were killed overall, including 157 in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crash in March.

Source: Aviation Safety Network via FreightWaves


“It is a rather embarrassing situation, no matter how it played out. I’d say the Japanese government is trying to turn the page and let a bad story die.”

Jeff Kingston, a professor of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan campus, on auto magnate’s Carl Ghosn escape in Transport Topics

Zero-emission ride-sharing service to launch in Sacramento

The nearly $1 million hub will also feature a 12-car parking lot and an electric car fast charger and six Level 2 chargers for electric vehicles. (Autorentalnews

Electric trucks, a factory launch and a massive merger 

The new mobility industry will reshape Illinois in 2020. (ChicagoTribune)

Amazon threatens to fire workers who criticize environmental policies

The e-commerce giant has warned at least two employees who publicly criticized environmental policies that they could be fired. (Seattle Times)

Uber, Postmates sue California to block AB5

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court strike against the state’s landmark measure designed to ensure gig workers receive employment protections. (

Tesla to start delivering China-made Model 3 cars in January

They will come exactly a year after CEO Elon Musk broke ground on the $2 billion Gigafactory, the company’s first outside the U.S. (New York Post)

Final thoughts,

PeopleNet users received an unpleasant introduction to the new year when their ELD devices unexpectedly froze after drivers logged into the system. The problem was a disconnect between the server and GPS clocks triggered by the calendar year, FreightWaves reported.

Hammer down, everyone!