Hydrogen-powered fuel cell train will be running on tracks in Germany from 1st May this year, announced today (25th February), H2 Bulletin reports.
The hydrogen-fuelled will operate in regular service in Baden-Württemberg, which is confirmed in a memorandum of understanding signed by the Ministry of Transport with Südwestdeutsche Landesverkehr-AG (SWEG-a national transport company) and Alstom Transport Deutschland GmbH (a subsidiary of Alstom SA- a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer).
The train will be run on a trial initially from May 2021 until December 2021. During the trial period, SWEG will replace one of its current diesel fleet with a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
The Alstom Coradia iLint fuel cell vehicle is to be used in the Zollernalbbahn networks in the Tübingen/Sigmaringen area until the timetable changes in December 2021. The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces electrical power for traction.
The train maintenance works will be conducted in the SWEG workshop in Gammertingen, whereas Alstom will provide a hydrogen filling station with a hydrogen fuel supply.
The trail will help the partners to learn about the technology as well as from passengers feedback. The project will also help find answers to how local zero-emission train services can be extended to regional networks in the future and whether there are vehicle-side alternatives to the classic electrification of the railway. The knowledge and experience from the test operation can be used for further development and operational optimisation of the train.
Fuel cell trains and battery-electric trains are emission-free alternatives to diesel-based trains on non-electrified tracks. One of the applications for such lines is where the construction of an overhead line is not economical or in the stage of bridge technology (planned but not implemented). Fuel cell trains can become an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel trains if there is no overhead line.