“The train of the future will be driven with hydrogen (H2) and will run completely emission-free” was the message from rail manufacturer Alstom, German transport authority Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG) and Linde AG as they signed the contracts for the delivery of 14 fuel cell trains in Germany.

The environmentally friendly trains will be deployed on Weser-Elbe network between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude from December 2021.

gasworld previously reported LNVG has awarded the contract for 14 H2 trains, with the option of 33 more, to a consortium of Alstom and Linde AG. The company has chosen Alstom because it believes Alstom is currently the only company in the world to offer a fully developed emission-free power train with fuel cell drive that is fully-developed for passenger use.

Germany to have hydrogen-powered trains by 2018

Today, the managements of LNVG, Alstom and Linde signed the contracts on the delivery of the 14 fuel cell trains and their 30-year maintenance and energy supply in Wolfsburg.

Olaf Lies, Economy and Transport Minister of Lower Saxony, had invited his ministerial colleagues to this contract signing on the occasion of the transport minister conference so that they could get their own impression of the Coradia iLint prototype, which will take up pilot operation in the evb network in spring 2018 together with a second vehicle.

Speaking at the contract signing, Lies said, “From now on there will be a real alternative to diesel trains in non-electrified rail transport. H2 and fuel cells are an ideal combination for climate protection as well as for the energy and transport revolution. They allow the storage of energy and emission-free travelling on rail. We fund innovative technologies and make a sustainable contribution to the energy revolution in the transport sector. I am pleased that Alstom will build the trains in Lower Saxony, thus further strengthening their production site in Salzgitter.”

Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), declared, “Emission-free, energy-efficient and cost-effective - trainsets with fuel cell drive are an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel locomotives. To strengthen the industrial site of Lower Saxony, we want to fund LNVG’s project by investing around €8.4m. The funds are to be provided from the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP 2).”

Gian Luca Erbacci, Senior Vice-President for Europe at Alstom, added, “This day represents a real breakthrough in rail transportation and a big step change towards a clean mobility system. For the first time worldwide, a H2-fuelled passenger regional train will replace diesel trains, generating zero emission with the same performance as a regular regional train and up to 1,000km autonomy. Alstom is very proud to have developed its Coradia iLint train in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony. We are grateful to the German federal government and to the regional government of Lower Saxony for their continuous support and confidence in Alstom’s strong innovation capabilities.”