Hydrogen trains move closer to reality in North America

Hydrogen trains move closer to reality in North America

In a landmark agreement, the State of California and Stadler have signed a contract to introduce four hydrogen-powered trains to the Golden State, with the option to acquire up to 25 additional train sets. The agreement is a significant step towards a sustainable, emissions-free future for California's rail industry.

The partnership between Stadler and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) paved the way for the creation of the very first hydrogen-powered train in North America.

Stadler's new hydrogen train has undergone extensive testing in both Switzerland and the USA, and showed both reliability and performance.

The contract, which was signed earlier this week will help support the next phase of the collaboration including furthering developing SBCTA’s enhanced transport capacity model. The deal also bolsters Caltrans’ commitment to its zero-emission rail mandate.

Ansgar Brockmeyer, executive vice president of marketing and sales, Stadler Group, says: "Stadler's goal is to help make travel in North America environmentally-friendly through the vehicles and services we provide.

Only very few rail lines in the US are electrified, which is why solutions like the FLIRT H2 are so important here."

Martin Ritter, chief executive officer, Stadler US, says, "Our design of the battery fuel cell train is changing the US rolling stock industry for alternative propulsion systems, combining the typical Stadler top quality and reliability. We're driving innovation that's not just transforming railways, but the very essence of sustainable transportation in America."

He adds, "This contract is a testament to our relentless pursuit of sustainable, eco-friendly transportation solutions, and we are thrilled to play a pivotal role in California's journey towards a cleaner, greener future."

Stadler are a market leader in alternative drive positions, which will help with the state’s sustainable transport plans and it is hoped that this expertise will push forward further opportunities within the West Coast rail industry over the coming years.

On the other side of the continent, Alstom announced the results of its hydrogen-powered train trials in Quebec. The Coradia iLint carried more than 10,000 passengers, over 130 trips spanning 10,660 kilometres in Quebec over the summer from mid-June to the end of September.

The demonstration saved an estimated 8,400 litres of diesel and averted 22 tons of CO2 emissions compared to the diesel trains that normally service the route.

“This summer, we demonstrated that hydrogen trains can be an attractive, safe and viable alternative to diesel on non-electrified lines and that we can do it right here in North America”, Michael Keroullé, president of Alstom in the Americas, commented.

Photo Credit: Stadler

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