Latest Rail News

17.03.17

Successful test run for world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train

Alstom has run the first successful test of the world’s only hydrogen fuel cell passenger train Coradia iLint at its test track in Salzgitter, in preparation for an extensive test campaign in Germany and Czech Republic in the coming months.

The test runs, which will continue for the next four weeks, aim to confirm the stability of the train’s energy supply system based on co-ordinated interaction between the drive, the fuel cell and battery, as well as to check the braking power of the vehicle.

The zero-emission silent train is powered by a single hydrogen fuel cell, producing electrical power for the traction.

Alstom described the Coradia iLint’s design as 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”, as well as “particularly suited for operation on non-electrified networks”.

The dynamic tests also saw the low floor passenger train reach speeds of 80km/h in Salzgitter and up to 140 km/h in Velim. The trains have now completed the static commissioning process.

Didier Pfleger, vice president of Alstom Germany and Austria said: “This test run is a significant milestone in environmental protection and technical innovation.

“With the Coradia iLint and its fuel cell technology, Alstom is the first railway manufacturer to offer a zero-emission alternative for mass transit trains. Today our new traction system, so far successfully proved on the test ring, is used on a train for the first time – a major step towards cleaner mobility in Europe.”

The news is one step forward to hydrogen fuel cell powered trains being introduced in the UK, after the first hydrogen powered train was built and run back in 2012.

Henrik Anderberg, managing director at Alstom UK and Ireland, described how the vehicle had the potential to revolutionise UK railways in RTM’s October/November 2016 issue.

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Comments

Andy Scotland   17/03/2017 at 14:19

There might be zero emissions from the train itself but where does the hydrogen to power it come from? And don't say thin air please :)

David Fenner   17/03/2017 at 20:51

First zero emission train? What about all the other electric trains already in service; the actual source of the electricity is of course being ignored. But unless the hydrogen is extracted and transported to the train in a zero emission way you cannot claim yours is the first zero emission train.

JT   20/03/2017 at 09:16

And cue pedantry...

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