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First order of hydrogen trains in France hailed as “historic step” towards sustainable mobility

Hydrogen trains are being hailed as an important step towards clean mobility.

ALSTOM is set to deliver 12 dual mode electric-hydrogen trains (plus two optional trainsets) for four regions in France.

SNCF Voyageurs placed the order on behalf of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie regions

The contract is worth almost 190m euros (about AU$296m) and has been hailed as marking “a genuine revolution in rail mobility”.

A first in France, it is expected to help cut both greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution, an ambition supported by the French government through its Hydrogen plan launched in June 2018.

“Alsto m is particularly proud to be contributing, alongside SNCF Voyageurs and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie regions, to a cleaner and more sustainable mobility solution,” said Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, president of Alstom France.

“Alstom is the first rail company in the world to launch a hydrogen train onto the market and to master this technology through its iLint train, developed for the German market.”

Eyméoud said the new order for the French market was fully in line with Alstom Group’s ambition to become number one in the green and smart mobility market.

“This order marks a historic and concrete step towards clean mobility, by rolling out a new rail solution with zero direct emissions,” he said.

“Hydrogen has become a concrete solution to help regions achieve their energy transition. We are proud of our commitment to this way forward and of the addition of this technology to the range of solutions developed for our regions through our PLANETER program.”

SNCF Voyageurs CEO Christophe Fanichet said the order was the result of “several years of work alongside our organising authorities and the manufacturer, achieved through the commitment and expertise of our teams in the Rolling Stock and TER departments, to develop a hydrogen train to meet our regions’ needs.”