In December 2017, Germany will be home to the world’s first zero-emissions hydrogen passenger train.
During last week’s Berlin InnoTrans trade show, French company Alstom unveiled the world’s first zero-emissions hydrogen-powered train. According to The Local, the Coradia iLint hydrogen train – or “hydrail” will be put into service on Germany’s Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line on Lower Saxony in December 2017.
It took two years to develop the hydrogen-powered passenger train, but the wait was undoubtedly worth it. The first-of-its-kind monorail offers a zero-emissions alternative to the country’s existing supply of diesel trains. The electric train is powered by a roof-mounted tank of hydrogen fuel, which powers a fuel cell to create electricity and propel locomotion. Similar electric trains already exist, but the Coradia iLint is the first to be used exclusively to transport passengers via railway.
Said Alstom chairman and CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge:
“Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation which will complete its Coradia range of regional trains. It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years.”
An added benefit of the train being electric and hydrogen-powered is that it is much quieter than traditional diesel trains. Even at its top speed of 87 miles per hour (140 km/h), the only audible sound will be from the motion of the wheels and air resistance.
Many view the more expensive electric train to be a worthwhile investment in order to prevent climate change from worsening. In the future, similar hydrogen-powered trains are to be put into service in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway, as well as other areas in Germany.
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