The World's First Hydrogen Train Coradia iLint Entered Service in Germany

The First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Entered Service in Germany
The First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Enters Service in Germany

Alstom, the world leader in smart and sustainable mobility, is proud to announce that the world's first hydrogen train, Coradia iLint, has reached another historic milestone in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is now used in passenger operation on the world premiere 100% hydrogen train route. This regional train emits only steam and condensed water while operating at low noise levels. 14 fuel cell driven vehicles belong to Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG). LNVG, which started looking for alternatives to diesel trains in 2012, accelerated the development of trains in Germany. Other project partners of this world first are the Elbe-Weser railways and transport company (evb) and the gas and engineering company Linde.

“One of the most important goals to ensure a sustainable future is emission-free transportation and Alstom has a clear goal of becoming the world leader in alternative propulsion systems for rail. The world's first hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint, demonstrates our commitment to green mobility combined with cutting-edge technology. “We are proud to put this technology into series operation as part of a world premiere together with our wonderful partners,” says Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom CEO and Chairman of the Board.

On the route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, 14 Alstom regional trains running on hydrogen will be operated by evb on behalf of LNVG and will gradually replace the 15 diesel trains. Fuel will be provided every day and around the clock at the Linde hydrogen filling station. Thanks to a range of 1.000 kilometers, the multi-units of Alstom's Coradia iLint model, which is emission-free in operation, can run all day with just one tank of hydrogen in the evb network. In September 2018, almost two years of successful trial run with two pre-series trains.

Despite numerous electrification projects in many countries, a significant portion of Europe's rail network will remain without electricity in the long run. In many countries, for example Germany, the number of diesel trains in circulation is still high, with more than 4.000 cars.

Alstom currently has four contracts for hydrogen fuel cell regional trains. Two in Germany, the first for the 14 Coradia iLint trains in Lower Saxony and the second for the 27 Coradia iLint trains in the Frankfurt metropolitan area. The third contract comes from Italy, where Alstom is building 6 Coradia Stream hydrogen trains in the Lombardy region – 8 more with an option, the fourth contract in France for 12 Coradia Polyvalent hydrogen trains shared in four different French regions. In addition, Coradia iLint has been successfully tested in Austria, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

About Coradia iLint

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

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

Coradia iLint is the winner of the 2022 German Sustainability Design Award. The award recognizes technical and social solutions that are particularly effective in driving the transformation to sustainable products, production, consumption or lifestyle in line with the United Nations' 2030 Agenda.

About the Fuel System

The Linde plant in Bremervörde includes sixty-four 1.800 bar high-pressure storage tanks with a total capacity of 500 kilograms, six hydrogen compressors and two fuel pumps. The use of hydrogen as a fuel in trains significantly reduces the burden on the environment, as approximately 4,5 liters of diesel fuel is replaced by one kilogram of hydrogen. Later on-site hydrogen production is planned via electrolysis and regeneratively generated electricity; corresponding expansion areas are available.

The project is funded by the Federal Department of Digital Affairs and Transportation as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program. The federal government contributes €8,4 million to vehicle costs and €4,3 million to gas station costs. The funding directive is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

 

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