The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train network has been launched in the German state of Lower Saxony. It started testing four years ago. “14 trains with hydrogen fuel cell drives made by French manufacturer Alstom will replace diesel trains,” Xinhua news agency quoted the local transport authority of Lower Saxony, LNVG, as saying on Wednesday. Five of the new trains are already operational, while others are scheduled to run by the end of this year.
‘The project is a role model around the world,’ said Lower Saxony minister Stefan Weil. ‘As the state of renewable energy, we are thus setting a milestone on the path of climate neutrality in the transport sector.’ LNVG said that, during the two-year trial operation, the two pre-series trains ran without any problems. The total cost of the project is approximately 93 million euros.
4,400 tonnes expected reduction in CO2 emissions
Alstom said in a statement that the Coradia iLint emission-free hydrogen fuel cell trains have a range of 1,000 km, enabling them to run for a day on just one tank of hydrogen. According to LNVG, the trains will save 1.6 million liters of diesel thus reducing CO2 emissions by 4,400 tonnes per year. The maximum speed of the train is 140 kmph. “We will not buy any more diesel trains in the future,” LNVG spokesman Dirk Altwig told Xinhua.
Old diesel trains should be replaced’
He said that other old diesel trains in use should be replaced later. The company is yet to decide whether to operate hydrogen or battery-powered trains. Germany aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.