Environment and Sustainability, Passenger Rail, Rail Supply, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design, Technology and IT

Alstom unveils hydrogen-fuelled train at InnoTrans

Rollingstock manufacturer Alstom has revealed its solution to the challenge of reducing emissions on a non-electrified rail network, announcing the hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint train at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.

The first of the zero-emission trains will hit the rails in Germany in 2017.

Alstom’s Coradia range of intercity and regional trains operate in the UK, mainland Europe and North America, and are typically diesel-powered so they can be used on non-electrified networks.

The iLint is designed as Alstom’s zero-emission solution for the types of networks Coradia trains usually operate.

“Despite numerous electrification projects in several countries, a significant part of Europe’s rail network will remain non-electrified in the long term,” Alstom said on September 20 in Berlin.

The train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which emits only steam.

Alstom says it will provide operators all the infrastructure required for the hydrogen cells, to make using the new technology as simple as possible.

The train is the result of a 2014 letter of intent between Alstom and the German Landers of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, and the Public Transportation Authorities of Hesse.

The letter called for the creation of an emission-free train equipped with fuel cell drive, Alstom said.

Chief executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge said the hydrogen-fuelled trains completed the Coradia family of regional sets.

“[The iLint] shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years,” he said.

Alstom will manufacture the new trains at its largest factory, in Salzgitter, Germany.