First hydrogen powered trains in Germany
As the world looks to curb carbon emissions, rail operators’ continued focus on diesel has put a spotlight on the industry. Rail electrification projects have been ongoing, while industry players have been looking for green fuel alternatives that will allow trains to continue running autonomously. Nevertheless, a huge number of noisy, CO2-emitting diesel multiple units (DMU) are still on the tracks – Germany, for example, has more than 4,000 still in operation.
Alstoms Coradia iLint, the worlds first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train, has been granted approval by the German Railway Office (EBA) for passenger service in Germany. On 11 July, Gerald Hörster, President of EBA, presented Alstom with the certificate of homologation at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in Berlin. The ceremony was attended by Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and member of the German Parliament. That will go into service starting in 2021.
Alstom stated it will build 14 emissions-free trains, called Coradia iLint, that can travel 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on one full hydrogen tank, and can reach a maximum speed of up to 140 km/h (87 mph).
the agreement and subsequent announcement arrives around the same time as climate change discussions were taking place in Bonn, Germany. During these talks, nearly 200 countries came together in an attempt to improve their climate change plans and develop a a global climate accord.
“This day represents a real breakthrough in rail transportation and a big step change [sic] towards a clean mobility system,” said Gian Luca Erbacci, senior vice president for Europe at Alstom. “For the first time worldwide, a hydrogen-fueled passenger regional train will replace diesel trains, generating zero emission with the same performance as a regular regional train and up to 1,000 km autonomy.”
Hydrogen-powered vehicles, much like Toyota’s hydrogen trucks, only emit water vapors during operation, making them an incredibly eco-friendly alternative to diesel that won’t produce harmful emissions and worsen global warming. Alongside the efforts of other automakers like Honda, and projects like Project Hesla, it’s become apparent that people want to invest in hydrogen fuel cells, as its both cheaper and better for our environment.