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World’s first two hydrogen trains successfully complete trial passenger service

Global Railway Review 19 May 2020

World’s first two hydrogen trains successfully complete trial passenger service

Two pre-series Alstom Coradia iLint model trains have successfully completed trial passenger services, after 530 days and more than 180,000 driven kilometres.

From 2022, 14 Coradia iLint series trains will replace the existing diesel multiple units. LNVG was the first company to believe in hydrogen, investing in it with the order of 14 Coradia iLint trains and thirty years of maintenance and power supply. This project showcases the importance of green mobility for the state of Lower Saxony. As one of the leading rail vehicle manufacturers in Europe, Alstom will produce the fuel cell trains for LNVG and will be responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles at its site in Salzgitter. The gases and engineering company Linde will build and operate a hydrogen filling station for the series trains near Bremervoerde station.

Jörg Nikutta, Managing Director for Germany and Austria of Alstom Transport Deutschland GmbH, said: “Our two pre-series trains of the Coradia iLint have proven over the past year and a half that fuel cell technology can be used successfully in daily passenger service. This makes us an important driving force on the way to emission-free and sustainable mobility in rail transport . We have also obtained valuable data from the trial operation of the fuel cell trains for the further development of the propulsion technology.”  

Andreas Wagner, Head of the SPNV division and authorised signatory of the Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (evb), said: “We are proud that we were the first railway company in the world to be allowed to operate the first two fuel cell trains on the Weser-Elbe network. From the very beginning, our passengers were very curious about the trains and their new propulsion technology. Besides its very low noise level, the hydrogen train was able to score with its emission-free operation, especially in times of climate change. The operation of the iLint was a very special motivation for our train drivers.”

Carmen Schwabl, Managing Director of LNVG, added: “With the successfully completed trial operation, the requirements for continuous operation of the hydrogen trains from 2022 are fulfilled. LNVG thus contributes to the implementation of sustainable, innovative and ecological mobility solutions, especially in rural areas.”

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economics and Transport, Dr. Bernd Althusmann, said: “Alstom has made hydrogen history here. The project is of a great importance to industrial policy that goes far beyond Germany. Here, we are witnessing the first competitive product of hydrogen mobility at industrial level.”

Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said: “The Federal Ministry of Transport is very happy to support the beacon of modern mobility: the hydrogen train in Bremervörde. After all, this project is a flagship for the mobility of the future. Hydrogen is a real low-emission and efficient alternative to diesel. Especially on secondary lines where overhead lines are uneconomical or not yet available, these trains can travel cleanly and in an environmentally friendly way. We would like to see more such applications.”

Coradia iLint

Coradia iLint is the first passenger train in the world to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which generates electrical energy for propulsion. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation water. The train features several different innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries and intelligent management of motive power and available energy. Designed specifically for use on non-electrified lines, it enables clean, sustainable train operations.

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