22 September 2016

World’s first zero-emission hydrogen passenger train

French company Alstom unveiled a zero-emission train powered by hydrogen at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin last Tuesday.

The hydrogen train – called the “Coradia iLint”  – will be running from December 2017 on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The new train is CO2-emission-free and is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, stored in a hydrogen fuel tank on the roof of the train.

The train produces just steam and water as opposed to greenhouse gases and is less noisy than traditional trains.

Alstom Chairman and CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, said: “Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation which will complete its Coradia range of regional trains... It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years.”

The “hydrail” technology has been under development for the last 25 years, but engineers have focused on freight trains.

The East Japan Railway Company ran its first test for a hydrail railcar in 2006, and a Chinese company released the first hydrail tram, but Coradia will be the first hydrogen passenger train to run long distances.

One full tank enables the new train to travel between 600 and 800 kilometres.

Other German states – Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia – have shown interest in the train as well as countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.

The cost has not yet been revealed by Alstom, but according to Die Welt, the hydrogen train will be more expensive than the current diesel models.

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