Ulysses Everett McGill
- Aug 26, 2011
Two trains built by the French train maker Alstom are now operating on a 62 mile stretch of line in northern Germany
Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.
Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, on Monday began running a 62 mile (100km) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany – a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.
“The world’s first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production,” Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said at an unveiling ceremony in Bremervoerde, the station where the trains will be refuelled with hydrogen.
Alstom has said it plans to deliver another 14 of the zero-emissions trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021, while other German states have also expressed an interest.
Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions. Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.
The Coradia iLint trains can run for about 600 miles (1,000km) on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains.