Alstom, the Province of Groningen, local operator Arriva, the Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail and the energy company Engie have signed plans for a pilot project to test the Coradia iLint, the world’s first passenger train powered by hydrogen fuel cells, for the first time in the Netherlands. The signature took place as part of the “Klimaattop” (Climate Summit Northern Netherlands).
The tests, expected to take place during the first quarter of 2020, will be carried out on the track between Groningen and Leeuwarden at up to 140 km/h and will last about two weeks. The objective is to demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cell technology is an appropriate way to achieve zero-emission rail traffic on non-electrified lines in the Netherlands where there are currently diesel trains running. The Dutch railway network has approximatively 1,000 kilometers of non-electrified line.
“Alstom is committed to developing and implementing mobility solutions that permit not only the emergence of fully sustainable transport systems but also help drive the broader energy transition. We look forward to demonstrating what has already been proven in Germany – that hydrogen represents a highly suitable way forward in both cases,” said Bernard Belvaux, Managing Director of Alstom Benelux.
The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces electrical power for traction. This zero-emission train emits low levels of noise, with exhaust being only steam and condensed water. The world’s first two hydrogen trains have already been in regular passenger service in Lower Saxony in Germany since September 2018. The local transport authority LNVG will operate 14 Coradia iLint trains on that line from 2021. Also in Germany, RMV has ordered 27 Coradia iLint – the largest fleet of hydrogen trains in the world – for operation from 2022.