Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a transition away from diesel power to hydrogen power for train travel in Germany.
French manufacturer Alstom will be deploying the first of its planned hydrogen trains in Germany tomorrow—the first of 14 passenger trains, making the Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, route the first fully hydrogen-powered train service.
“The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train to run on a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electrical energy for propulsion. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation,” says Alstom.
These trains, which can travel at 87 mph, will gradually replace the 15 diesel locomotives on the route by the end of the year. They can operate for 1,000 kilometers between fueling and can operate for an entire day on one tank of hydrogen, doing the same work as 4.5 kilos of diesel.
“The 93 million euro [$92.3 million] deal has been struck by state subsidiary Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LVNG), the owners of the railway, and Alstom, builders of the Coradia iLint trains,” says CNN.
Why it’s important
As Europe transitions further into Green energy, these trains will help fill a major hole in infrastructure. A significant portion of Europe’s railways have not yet been electrified and depend on diesel-powered trains.
A transition to hydrogen engines would require phasing out as many as 4,000 locomotives in Germany alone.
As we reported last week, Europe is facing an ongoing energy shortage as prices skyrocket and supplies from Russia slowly decrease. Advocates of Green energy are hoping to use the ongoing crisis as motivation to move the continent away from fossil fuels in the long term.
The Coradia iLint is also being tested and sold in other countries including Austria, Poland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, according to CNN. Other German cities like Frankfurt have already ordered 27 units, the Lombardy region of Italy has ordered six, and France has ordered 12 to use in four regions.
“Emission-free mobility is one of the most important goals for ensuring a sustainable future and Alstom has a clear ambition to become the world leader in alternative propulsion systems for rail. The world’s first hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, demonstrates our clear commitment to green mobility combined with state-of-the-art technology. We are very proud to bring this technology into series operation as part of a world premiere, together with our great partners,” says Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge.