France orders hydrogen-powered trains for 2023 delivery
France has signed an order for three hydrogen-powered TER Coradia trains on 5th March, to be the third country after Germany and Italy to operate hydrogen-powered trains.
Burgundy-Franche-Comté is the first region to finalised the order for delivery by 2023. However, the commercial operations of these trains would take another year before all tests complete. The tests will start by 2024 and will initially be operating between Auxerre and Laroche-Migennes. These trains will replace the diesel-powered TERs on non-electrified or partially electrified lines.
SNCF, which ordered these trains, are produced by Alstom. The hydrogen-powered trains can reach 160 km/h speed, capable of carrying 220 passengers in a range of between 400km to 600 km.
This order is a part of 14 hydrogen trains to be supplied by Alstom to four regions. The other three regions are the Greater East, Occitanie and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which are expected to be the next.
Besides hydrogen trains, there is also a plan to develop a multimodal hydrogen production and distribution station to power trains, buses, and other heavy road transport. Hydrogen will be produced by an EDF subsidiary in the station through electrolysis using grid power.