The German Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt, EBA) has given “green light” to the development of the French company Alstom – hydrogen fuel cell passenger trainset. It will soon start to run on German railways, railway-technology.com reported.
Coradia iLint is the world’s first train using electricity generated by electrochemical cells, and is specifically designed to work on secondary non-electrified lines. According to EBA, two prototypes will be used for a while in the test mode on the Elba-Weser section. Passenger services are planned to start in late summer.
“A world premiere in Germany: with the approval of the German Railway Office, we are sending the first passenger train with fuel cell technology onto the tracks. This is strong sign of how the transport of the new generation will look. This is a strong sign of the mobility of the future. Hydrogen 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,” said Enak Ferlemann, a German federal government delegate for railway transport.
The project was a joint effort by Alstom’s team from Salzgitter (Germany) and Tarba (France). Coradia iLint gained full support from the German Ministry of Economy and Transport. The company received eight million euros from the German government as a member of the National Innovation Program (NIP) in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell applications.
Last November, Alstom signed a contract with the transport department of Lower Saxony for the supply of fourteen fuel cell trains. The contract also provides for maintenance and fuel supply for thirty years.