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Hydrogen-Powered Trains – A Step Toward Cleaner Air

If you are looking to get around the city without the smell of gas, then you may want to consider hydrogen-powered trains. Not only does it help you to get where you need to go, but it also helps to clean up the air in the city.

Alstom’s Coradia iLint Trains:

Alstom has unveiled the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train. The Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell train combines clean energy conversion with smart management of motive power. Its innovative technology enables emission-free sustainable train operation.

Coradia iLint trains run on non-electrified lines and have a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. They are powered by Cummins fuel cell systems that convert the hydrogen fuel into energy. Using only one tank of hydrogen, the train can operate for a day. The trains can also produce steam, which can be used for air conditioning.

Coradia iLint has passed its first testing stage in Poland. It has also been tested in Sweden and Germany. After two years of testing, the Coradia iLint has entered into passenger service in Germany.


The German National Innovation Programme (GfNIP) funded the development of the Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel-cell train. Alstom partnered with gas and engineering firm Linde to create the project.

As part of the Coradia iLint project, two pre-series trains have been operated by the EVB operator. During the test period, the trains covered more than 180,000 km of experimental mileage.

Japan’s HydroFLEX Train:

The largest railway company in Japan has unveiled its hydrogen-powered test train. It is a hybrid system developed in partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation and Hitachi Ltd.

This train is said to be the first of its kind in the world. It features a fuel cell system, storage batteries, and a traction control system.

Emission Propulsion System:

HydroFLEX is a zero-carbon emission propulsion system designed to retrofit trains. It will be tested on the mainline railway. The train will be fitted with a 650V 84kWh battery pack and a 100kW Ballard fuel cell.

According to the HydroFLEX website, this pilot will allow the train to operate independently on conventional electrified routes. As a result, it will have a range of up to 1,000 kilometres.

Currently, the four-car prototype is stored with 20 kg of hydrogen. However, this may not be enough to meet the requirements for a full range of hydrogen tanks. In order to store sufficient energy, a hydrogen supply chain will need to be established.

European FCH2RAIL Project:

The EU-funded FCH2RAIL Hydrogen-Powered Train project is developing a new type of train prototype. The goal is to develop a zero emission vehicle that is capable of bi-mode operation.

The project is led by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF and consists of companies from five countries. It has a budget of over EUR14 million.

As a member of the FCH2RAIL project, CAF has begun testing the hydrogen-powered demonstrator train. Tests are designed to determine the suitability of the train, as well as the performance of the hydrogen system.

Bi-mode Train:

The FCH2RAIL project is based on the concept of a bi-mode train that is powered by a fuel cell hybrid power pack. A fuel cell hybrid power pack is a combination of battery storage and hydrogen fuel cells, which can be used to pull electricity from overhead electric wires.

The project is a four-year programme, extending until 2021. After the initial trial runs, the demonstration train will be validated in a third country.

Clean air in Cities:

Hydrogen-powered trains can be a significant step towards cleaner air. However, it’s important to note that there are still a number of hurdles to overcome.

The biggest challenge is the amount of electricity needed to power the new low-carbon trains. For example, the Coradia iLint train is capable of running for up to 600 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. In addition to producing zero emissions, the train is quiet and offers a comfortable ride.

Lower Saxony’s Hydrogen-Powered Train Experiment:

Germany’s Lower Saxony region began testing hydrogen-powered trains in 2018. Alstom trains are billed as a green alternative to diesel. They use fuel cells to convert hydrogen into electricity, and the train mixes hydrogen on board with oxygen in the ambient air.

Harnessing Decarbonized Electricity to Produce Clean Hydrogen:

Currently, most hydrogen is produced using coal and natural gas. But these sources of energy aren’t considered renewable. Therefore, there’s a need to find sustainable ways to produce hydrogen.

One potential solution is to produce hydrogen from decarbonised electricity. This would not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but could also help make hydrogen more sustainable.

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