The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered trains have entered service in Germany, Alstom, the company behind it, has announced. Called the Coradia iLint, the new trains feature fuel cells that utilize oxygen and hydrogen for electricity, this resulting in a zero-emissions experience that is friendly to the environment. The Coradia iLint trains boast low noise levels and speeds up to about 86MPH.
The Coradia iLint was built by European railway manufacturer Alstom, which premiered the new train at an event over the weekend. A pair of trains featuring this hydrogen fuel cell technology entered commercial service on September 17, marking the first time such trains have been operated in the world.
Existing diesel trains operating on lines between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude will be replaced with the new Coradia iLint models, ultimately putting them to use across about 100km of train lines. A mobile hydrogen filling station will provide the fuel for these trains; a single full tank provides enough energy for a train to operate across the network for an entire day.
Alstom already plans to deliver more than a dozen additional hydrogen fuel cell trains in Germany within the next few years, as well as installing a filling station on the Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser network.
Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen chief Carmen Schwabl said:
With the two Coradia iLint trains and with the use of another 14 hydrogen trains from the end of 2021, we are the first passenger rail transport authority to replace existing diesel vehicles by emission-free vehicles, thus contributing better to the fulfillment of the climate protection goals.