Germany unveils the world’s first hydrogen passenger train in a bid to save the environment

Germany introduced the world’s first-ever fleet of hydrogen passenger trains on Wednesday, replacing nearly 15 diesel trains that previously ran on non-electrified railway tracks in the state of Lower Saxony. According to Associated press report, the fourteen trains use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity that further powers the engines. Additionally, the German government has supported the expansion of the use of hydrogen as a clean substitute for fossil fuels.

In addition, Stephan Weil, the state governor, said the 93 million euro ($92 million) initiative is a “great example” of Lower Saxony’s attempts to make its economy more environmentally friendly. of the environment.

On top of that, the €93 million deal was struck by state-owned Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LVNG), which owns the railway, and Alstom, the French company that makes the Coradia iLint trains. The project also includes the gas and engineering company Linde as well as the Elbe-Weser Railways and Transport Company (EVB), CNN reported.

Regional rail company LNVG operates passenger trains built by Alstom on lines connecting the northern towns of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde, as well as Buxtehude, Associated press reported.

The world’s first hydrogen train in Germany

Coradia iLint trains, according to Alstom, have a maximum speed of 140 km/h and a range of up to 1,000 kilometres. It is also reported that the trains would save nearly 1.6 million liters (or more than 422,000 gallons) of diesel fuel per year by using renewable energy generated by hydrogen. One kilogram of hydrogen has the same energy content as approximately 4.5 kilograms of diesel, CNN reported.

It should be mentioned that only steam as well as condensed water will come out of the exhaust of these silent and emission-free trains. In addition, they can operate on the grid for an entire day on a single hydrogen tank thanks to their range of 1,000 km. According to media reports, on the way, a hydrogen filling station has already been installed. There are two fuel pumps, six hydrogen compressors and 64 high-pressure storage tanks at the Linde-operated gas station.

According to Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO of Alstom, “emission-free mobility is one of the most important objectives to ensure a sustainable future”.

Moreover, the agreement has been in the making for ten years. According to a press release, LVNG has been exploring diesel substitutes since 2012, while Alstom launched two-year train trials in 2018. Currently, around 4,000 diesel trains are running on the country’s non-electric routes. Additionally, Austria, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands have all tested the Coradia iLint.

Currently, hydrogen is created as a byproduct of chemical processes; however, within three years, the German manufacturer of special gases Linde hopes to manufacture hydrogen locally using exclusively renewable energies, Associated Press reported.

(Picture: AP)

Jose P. Rogers