World’s first hydrogen-powered train launches in Germany

French train-maker Alstom has announced that the world’s first hydrogen-powered locomotive has begun running in Germany.

The "Coradia iLint" train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that produces electrical power with no harmful exhaust gases. Two units will replace diesel locomotives on a 100km-line between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude.

Image courtesy of Alstom

The trains have a top speed of 140km/h, and are fueled at a mobile hydrogen filling station.

An order for 14 of them, worth €81m, has been signed by state firm Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen. They will be in service by 2021, when a new filling station is due be completed.

Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony’s minister of economy and transport, said: "In successfully proving the operability of the fuel cell technology in daily service, we will set the course for rail transport to be largely operated climate-friendly and emission-free in the future."

Image courtesy of Alstom/René Frampe

The train’s development was funded by the German government as part of its National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

Top image courtesy of Alstom

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