German transport authority Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG) is to partner with rail transport company Alstom and Linde AG for the supply of 14 hydrogen (H2) fuel cell trains – and the prototype is expected to begin carrying passengers in early 2018.

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

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.

Alstom presented its protype Coradia iLint in 2016 at InnoTrans, the railway industry’s largest trade fair. Powered by a H2 fuel cell, its only emission is steam and condensed water while operating with a low level of noise.

The France-based company is one of the world’s first railway vehicle manufacturers to have developed a passenger train using this technology.

Alstom hydrogen powered passenger train 3