Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) is teaming-up with Shift2Rail to launch a joint call for tender in view of conducting a study that will address the needed market analysis and assess the potential of fuel cell and hydrogen (H2) technologies for the rail sector.

While electrifying the transport system is a major priority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, the railway system has been a pioneer in this area with a large majority of its traffic running on electrified lines. But efforts are still needed to reach the environmental and zero-emission objectives set up for rail operations.

Various regions in Europe have shown interest in the potential of fuel cell and H2 technologies for trains, in particular where other electrification alternatives have proven unfeasible. However, to enable a larger introduction of fuel cell technologies within the railway market, a deeper analysis is needed.

The joint study will assist in preparing an initial business case, and to undertake market analysis of the potential for wider deployment of fuel cell and H2 technologies ‘as part of the energy hybrid solutions for the railway sector with a multi modal approach’.

FCH JU is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and H2 energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system.

Shift2Rail is the first European rail initiative to seek focused research and innovation and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. Shift2Rail promotes the competitiveness of the European rail industry and meets changing EU transport needs.

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