The world’s only hydrogen (H2) fuel cell passenger train has successfully performed its first test run in Germany.

Hurtling along at a maximum of 140kms per hour, the Coradia iLint is the first low-floor passenger train worldwide that is powered by a H2 fuel cell, which produces electrical power for traction.

The four-week test runs in Germany and the Czech Republic aim to confirm the stability of the energy supply system based on coordination interaction between the drive, the fuel cell and the battery of the vehicle.

A mobile filling station has been temporarily established in Salzgitter to pump gaseous H2 into the train’s pressure tank, but Alstom plans to support the necessary H2 production from wind energy in the long-term.

“It is a significant milestone in environmental protection and technical innovation [and] a major step towards cleaner mobility in Europe”

Didier Pfleger, Vice-President of Alstom Germany and Austria

The Coradia iLint will undertake its first passenger test runs on the Buxtehude- Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven (Germany) route beginning of 2018.

Stating that the test run is a “significant milestone in environmental protection and technical innovation” and “a major step towards cleaner mobility in Europe,” Didier Pfleger, Vice-President of Alstom Germany and Austria, added, “With the Coradia iLint and its fuel cell technology, Alstom is the first railway manufacturer to offer a zero-emission alternative for mass transit trains.”

It is understood that Alstom has already signed letters of intent for 60 more trains with the German states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and the Hessian transport association ‘Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund.’

Canadian outfit Hydrogenics Corporation signed a 10-year exclusive agreement to supply Alstom with H2 fuel cell systems in May 2015. The €50m ($53m) deal included the supply of at least 200 engine systems along with all necessary service and maintenance.