First Hydrogen Train Now Operational in Germany

  • The world’s first hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, reached another historical milestone in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany.
  • It is now used on the world premiere 100% hydrogen train route, in passenger operation.
  • This regional train only emits steam and condensed water while operating with a low level of noise.

The 14 vehicles with fuel cell propulsion belong to Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG). LNVG had already started looking for alternatives to diesel trains in 2012 and thus provided momentum for the development of the trains in Germany. Other project partners for this world debut are the Elbe-Weser railways and transport company (evb) and the gas and engineering company Linde.

On the route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, 14 hydrogen-powered Alstom regional trains will be operated by evb on behalf of LNVG, gradually replacing 15 diesel trains. They will be fuelled daily and around the clock at the Linde hydrogen filling station. Thanks to a range of 1,000 kilometres, the Alstom multiple units of the Coradia iLint model, which are emission-free in operation, can run all day long on just one tank of hydrogen on the evb network.

About the Coradia iLint

The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train to run on a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electrical energy for propulsion. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapour and condensation. The Coradia iLint features several innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries, and intelligent management of motive power and available energy. Specifically developed for use on non-electrified lines, it enables clean, sustainable train operation while maintaining high performance. On evb’s network, the train travels at speeds of 80 to 120, with a maximum speed of 140 kilometres per hour.

The iLint was designed by Alstom teams in Salzgitter (Germany), our centre of excellence for regional trains, and in Tarbes (France), centre of excellence for traction systems. The project benefits from the support of the German government and the development of the Coradia iLint was funded as part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) by the German government.

About the Fuelling System

The Linde facility in Bremervörde contains sixty-four 500-bar high-pressure storage tanks with a total capacity of 1,800 kilograms, six hydrogen compressors and two fuel pumps. The use of hydrogen as a fuel for trains noticeably reduces the burden on the environment, as one kilogram of hydrogen replaces approximately 4.5 litres of diesel fuel. A later hydrogen production on site by means of electrolysis and regeneratively generated electricity is planned; corresponding expansion areas are available.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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