The world’s first hydrogen passenger trains, produced by the French Alstom, are expected to enter regular commercial service in the German state of Lower Saxony in March 2022. Alstom’s Coradia iLint trains have been successfully tested by the German rail operator LNVG from September 2018 to the end. February 2020, on a 123-kilometer rail section.
The French company, which has already started mass production of hydrogen trains, will deliver 14 units to LNVG. Coradia iLint trains have also been tested in Austria and the Netherlands, according to Alstom’s website.
Hydrogen trains are a reliable and emission-free alternative to diesel powered trains
The French automaker recently said the project has proven hydrogen propulsion to be a reliable, emission-free alternative to diesel-powered regional trains on non-electrified lines. According to reports, more than 50% of rail lines in the European Union are not electrified.
The Coradia iLint train features several innovations, including clean energy conversion and flexible energy storage in batteries, Alstom said.
Germany Siemens is also developing hydrogen trains
Alstom’s German rival Siemens is also working on hydrogen propulsion for railways and has a test train running on hydrogen commissioned in 2024, according to previous reports.
Last year, the EU launched the Clean Hydrogen Alliance initiative as part of efforts to dercabonize hard-to-scale sectors, including transport, and achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
Airbus hopes to develop hydrogen hybrid planes by 2035
In September 2020, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus showcased hydrogen-powered hybrid aircraft concepts, with the intention of developing the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035.