World premiere: hydrogen trains enter passenger service in Lower Saxony

04 oktober 2018 om 09:56 uur

The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train service has started in Lower Saxony (Germany). The Coradia iLint, built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, is low-noise and zero-emission and reaches up to 140 km/h.

The two trains will be operated on nearly 100km of line running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude. They are fuelled at a mobile hydrogen filling station. The gaseous hydrogen is pumped into the trains from a 40-foot-high steel container next to the tracks at Bremervörde station. With one tank, they can run throughout the network the whole day, thanks to an autonomy of 1000 km. A stationary filling station is scheduled to go into operation in 2021, when Alstom will deliver a further 14 Coradia iLint trains.

The government has supported the development and testing by providing funds from the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

For LNVG chief Carmen Schwabl, whose authority organizes the rail passenger transport between the North Sea and the Harz mountains and therefore pays annual compensation of around €300 million to the railway companies, the entry to fuel cell technology is also a strategic decision: "We also do this because about 120 diesel trainsets in our vehicle pool will reach the end of their lifetime within the next 30 years, meaning we will have to replace them. The experience gained with this project helps us find a sustainable and practical solution."


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