World’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train takes its first steps

The Coradia iLint is the world’s first regional passenger train to enter service equipped with fuel cells to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, thus eliminating pollutant emissions related to propulsion. 

The train is completely quiet, and its only emission is water. Purpose-built for use on non-electrified lines, it provides clean, sustainable traction with no sacrifice in performance. It has a range of approximately 1000 kilometres – the same as equivalent-size diesel multiple units. The train is developed and produced by Alstom. “Tests in the Netherlands demonstrate how our hydrogen train is mature in terms of availability and reliability, providing the same performance as traditional regional trains, but with the benefit of low noise and zero emissions. It is also easy to integrate in an existing fleet and is compliant with all safety regulations. The Coradia iLint hydrogen train is a reliable emission-free train ready to help transport us to a carbon-neutral Europe,” said Bernard Belvaux, Managing Director, Alstom Benelux.

The development of long distance hydrogen trains could help Ireland transition its rail fleet to low carbon energy without having to electrify lines. Ireland’s current inter-city fleet are all diesel powered which will come under scrutiny as diesel has problems with particulate pollutions, leading to proposals to ban diesel cars in city centres. 

The Coradia iLint has seen 18 successful months of passenger service on a  Bremerhaven line in Germany, where total of 41 Coradia iLint have already been ordered.