Germany Has Here! The World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train


Eco-friendly travel seems to be increasingly becoming an interesting point in the development of transportation. Germany kicks off with hydrogen-powered trains.

As reported by CNN, Sunday (28/8/2022) Germany introduced its hydrogen-powered train line on Wednesday (24/8). A total of 14 trains will run on the route in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony.

This train is the result of a collaboration between the state subsidiary Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Lower Saxony (LVNG), the owner of the train, and Alstom, the builder of the Coradia iLint train. Rail and Transport Company Elbe-Weser (EVB), which will operate the rail and gas and engineering company Linde, are also part of the project.

Of the 14 trains, 5 trains debuted at launch. Gradually these trains will replace the 15 diesel trains currently running on the route. The plan is for 14 trains to run exclusively by the end of the year.

Coradia iLint, hydrogen train from GermanyCoradia iLint, hydrogen train from Germany Photo: (Alstom dock)

Emission-free and low-noise trains emit only steam and condensed water coming out of the exhaust. For fuel comparison, 1 kg of hydrogen is equivalent to 4.5 liters of diesel fuel.

The train has a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) meaning it can run all day on the route on a single tank of hydrogen. Now a hydrogen filling station has been set up on the route.

The train can travel at a maximum speed of 140 kph, or 87 mph, although this speed is slightly compared to a regular train between 80-120 kph.

“Emission-free mobility is one of the most important goals to ensure a sustainable future,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO of Alstom.

The deal to develop this train has been in the works for a decade. LVNG has been looking for a diesel alternative since 2012. Alstom also in 2018 had a two-year test run of the train.

Germany currently has around 4,000 diesel trains on its non-electric lines. The Coradia iLint has also been tested in Austria, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands. The refueling station run by Linde has 64 high-pressure storage tanks, six hydrogen compressors and two fuel pumps.

Lower Saxony President Stephan Weil called the train a model for the rest of the world and a milestone towards climate neutrality in the transport sector.

The next hydrogen train destination is Frankfurt, of which 27 have already been ordered for the metropolitan area. They will also stop in Italy, where six trains have been commissioned for use in the northern Lombardy region. And in France, 12 trains will be shared across four regions.

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