Hydrogen on rails
Germany is running the first hydrogen-powered trains. The move follows successful tests earlier this year of the zero-emission train from French manufacturer Alstom.
The service, from operator EVB, runs on nearly 100km of line running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, replacing the existing diesel fleet. The Coradia iLint train, whose technology is based on the company’s existing Coradia Lint diesel train, has a range of 500 miles per day on a single tank of hydrogen.
A stationary hydrogen filling station on EVB premises is scheduled to go live in 2021, when Alstom will deliver a further 14 Coradia iLint trains.
The German federal government supported the development and testing of the new drive technology with funds from the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.
“These trains can be operated cleanly and in an environmentally friendly way, especially on secondary lines where overhead lines are uneconomical or not available yet,” says Enak Ferlemann, secretary of the federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure. “We therefore support and fund this technology, in order to expand it.”