First hydrogen-train trials end successfully

Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen-powered train.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered trains in passenger service have successfully concluded their trial programme after 530 days and more than 180,000 kilometres of service.

Alstom Coradia iLint.

A pair of Alstom Coradia iLint trains that have been running on the Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser (EVB) network between the cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude in Germany since September 2018.

As a result of the lessons learned in these trials, 14 Coradia iLint series trains will replace the existing diesel multiple units operated by Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG – public transport company of Lower Saxony) from 2022.

As well as manufacturing the new trains, Alstom will be responsible for maintaining them 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, Alstom.

Alstom’s managing director for Germany and Austria, Jörg Nikutta, said: “Our two Coradia iLint pre-series trains 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, EVB.

Andreas Wagner, head of the SPNV (regional rail) division EVB, added: “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.”

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