Germany’s first fully hydrogen-powered passenger train service is now in operation

The first fully hydrogen-powered passenger train service is now operational. run on the line in Lower Saxony, Germany. The only emissions are steam and condensed water, and the train operates with a low noise level.

Five of the trains started running this week. Nine more will be added in the coming months to replace 15 diesel trains on the regional line. Alstom says the Coradia iLint has a range of 1,000 kilometres, meaning it can run all day on the line using a single tank of hydrogen. A hydrogen filling station has been installed on the route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude.

Alstom, which started testing the trains in 2018, has deals for Coradia iLint in other locations, including 27 trains in the Frankfurt metropolitan area. The other two contracts concern regions of Italy and France.

The company notes that despite electrification efforts in some countries, much of Europe’s rail network will depend on trains that will not be electrified in the long term. He notes that there are more than 4,000 diesel-powered cars in Germany alone. In 2020, the country’s national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said it was . While it will take some time to fully switch the continent’s rail network to green energy (assuming full conversion happens at some point), the commissioning of hydrogen trains is a positive step forward. .

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Jose P. Rogers