The world’s first hydrogen (H2) fuel cell passenger train has been granted approval by the German Railway Office (EBA) for passenger service in Germany.
President of EBA Gerald Hörster presented rail transport company Alstom with the certificate of homologation for its Coradia iLint at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in Berlin yesterday.
“A world premiere in Germany: With the approval of the EBA, we are sending the first passenger train with fuel cell technology onto the tracks,” said Enak Ferlemann, the German Federal Government’s authorised delegate for rail transportation.
“This is a strong sign of the mobility of the future. H2 is a true low-emission and efficient alternative to diesel. Especially on secondary lines, where overhead lines are uneconomic or not yet available, these trains are a clean and environmentally friendly option. That is why we support and promote the technology, in order to bring it to the surface.”
Alstom’s Vice-President of R&D and Innovation enthused, “This approval is a major milestone for the Coradia iLint and a decisive step towards clean and future-oriented mobility. Alstom is immensely proud of this H2-powered regional train, a breakthrough in emission-free mobility, and the fact that it will now go into regular passenger operation.”
In November 2017, Alstom and the local transport authority of Lower Saxony (LNVG) signed a contract for the delivery of 14 H2 fuel cell trains, along with 30 years of maintenance and energy supply. The 14 trains will be produced by Alstom for LNVG’s vehicle pool and will transport passengers between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude from December 2021.
Following this approval granted by EBA, the two Coradia iLint prototypes will enter pilot operation in the Elbe-Weser network. Passenger service is scheduled for late summer.
Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train powered by a H2 fuel cell, which produces electrical power for traction. This zero-emission train emits low levels of noise, with exhaust being only steam and condensed water.