World’s First Hydrogen Train Launched in Germany, Made in France
The world’s first train running on hydrogen has been launched from the railway station of Bremervörde in in the German state of Lower Saxony.
The world’s first hydrogen train was made in France by Alstom, and is part of Germany’s drive to substitute old diesel-powered engines. Hydrogen trains have no exhaust fumes, and produce only water.
The new trains carry a hydrogen tank and fuel cells on the roof, producing electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, while excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries. Hydrogen trains are also quieter and cheaper to operate.
Two Coradia iLint hydrogen train engines will replace diesel trains on the 100-kilometer (62-mile) route linking the towns of Cuxhaven and Buxtehude, DW reports.
The Bremervörde station will serve as a refueling site for Germany’s first hydrogen trains. The hydrogen engines can run for around 1,000 kilometers without refueling and reach a maximum speed 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour), similar to diesel trains.
“The world’s first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production,” Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge stated during the unveiling ceremony in Bremervörde.
“Buying a hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train, but it is cheaper to run,” Stefan Schrank, the project’s manager at Alstom, is quoted as saying.
The state of Lower Saxony will pay a total of EUR 81.3 million euro (USD 95 million) for the project.
Alstom says that other countries were also looking into buying their trains, including the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Canada.
France’s authorities have pledged to launch the country’s first hydrogen train by 2022.
Germany has introduced hydrogen trains in line with its initiative to slash air pollution and boost the use of renewable energy by 2050.
(Banner image: Alstom on Twitter)