The world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered train line opens in Germany

Recently, Germany has opened the era of “hydrogen trains”, and a batch of Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell trains have entered passenger service along the 100% hydrogen route in Lower Saxony.

Following successful operational trials, a fleet of 14 Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel-cell trains will enter passenger service in Lower Saxony, Germany, by the end of 2022

The passenger service trial started in September 2018 and lasted almost two years with just two trains. Now officially in public service and expanded to 14 trains, the project was designed by Alstom engineers at the regional train facility in Salzgitter, Germany, and the Traction Systems Centre in Tarbes, France. They are purchased by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Transport and are owned by the state-run Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen mbH (LNVG) railway bureau, which in 2012 started looking for alternatives to diesel locomotives and has committed to buying only non-diesel (hydrogen fuel cells or batteries) from now on electric) trains.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered train line starts operation in Germany: only discharges steam and condensed water, with a maximum speed of 140km / h

The hydrogen-powered train is produced by French company Alstom, which has been developing hydrogen-powered battery trains since 2013. The train is equipped with hydrogen fuel tanks and batteries. The way it works is that the hydrogen emitted from the tank on the roof reacts directly with the oxygen in the air to generate electricity, which is then stored in the battery and used as power for the train.

Officials say that 1 kilogram of hydrogen fuel for this car can get the power equivalent to 4.5 kilograms of diesel fuel. As long as the fuel tank is filled with hydrogen once, it can travel up to 1,000 kilometers, with a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour and a normal speed of 80-120 kilometers per hour. Moreover, the train is not only relatively quiet, but also has no exhaust gas, and only emits steam and condensed water.

The trains will be refilled daily at Linde’s hydrogen filling station in Bremerv√∂rde, which has 64 high-pressure (500 Bar) gas tanks, 6 compressors and 2 fuel pumps. In the future, hydrogen is planned to be produced on-site through “electrolysis and regenerative power generation”.

Five Coradia iLints are currently in operation, with the remainder expected to join the fleet by the end of 2022, replacing the 15 diesel trains running on the network, saving an estimated 1.6 million litres of diesel and 4,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

IT House understands that Alstom’s hydrogen-powered train plan does not stop in Lower Saxony, the company has also contracted to provide 27 Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell trains for the Frankfurt metropolitan area and 6 Coradia for the Lombardy region of Italy Stream hydrogen trains and supply more than a dozen Coradia Polyvant hydrogen trains to different regions of France. The company has also carried out operational trials in Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria.