The world's first hydrogen fuel-cell train entered passenger service in Lower Saxony, Germany on Sept. 16. The zero-emission Coradia iLint, built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, can reach up to 140 km/h (90 mph).
On behalf of local transport authority, Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG), the Coradia iLint trains will be operated on nearly 100km (62 miles) of line, replacing Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser (EVB) in Bremervörde’s existing diesel fleet.
The new trains will be fuelled at a mobile hydrogen filling station. The gaseous hydrogen will be pumped into the trains from a 40-foot-high steel container next to the tracks at Bremervörde station. With one tank, they can run throughout the network the whole day, thanks to a total autonomy of 1000 km. A stationary filling station on EVB premises is scheduled to go into operation in 2021, when Alstom will deliver a further 14 Coradia iLint trains to LNVG.
The Coradia iLint is the first low-floor passenger train worldwide powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces electrical power for the traction. This zero-emission train is silent and only emits steam and condensed water. The Coradia iLint features a combination of different innovative elements: a clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries, and a smart management of the traction power and available energy. Based on Alstom’s flagship Coradia Lint diesel train, Coradia iLint is particularly suited for operation on non-electrified networks. It enables sustainable train operation while maintaining high train performance.
With around 2 million rail passengers and around 4 million bus passengers per year, EVB figures among the largest mobility providers in the Elbe-Weser triangle.