CRRC Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company (TRC) is trialling Ballard Power System’s fuel cell low floor on the Chinese Railway Headstream Tour tram line in Tangshan City, which is located in China’s Hebei Province.

The TRC low floor tram consists of three cars with a total capacity for 336 passengers, a top speed of 70km per hour (44 mph) and a range of 40km (25 miles) on a single 12kg hydrogen (H2) fill-up. The new 14km (8.5 mile) long tram line in Tangshan City has four stations together with a 100kg capacity H2 refuelling station.

The tram deployed for the trial is powered by Ballard FCveloCity® fuel cell technology, combined with a battery and supercapacitor. The trial was initiated at a ceremony held last week and attended by 150 senior leaders from the Chinese government and TRC.

Rob Campbell, Ballard’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented, “We are seeing growing interest in the use of fuel cell engines for rail applications globally. Our work in China, including this exciting tram trial with TRC, is a testament to the rapid progress being made toward large-scale deployments of fuel cell-powered trams in revenue service.”

TRC was established in 1881 as China’s first manufacturer of locomotives and rolling stock. In its 100-plus years of operation the company has delivered a number of important ‘firsts’ in China, including the first: locomotive; passenger train; freight wagon; inspection train; and low-floor light rail train. In January 2011 TRC also recorded the world’s fastest railway test speed of 487km per hour (302 miles per hour).