Two very special Alstom trains have been running with Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser since September 2018. They are powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells. The regional transport agency LNVG, believed in a future with hydrogen and ordered 14 Alstom Coradia iLint trains to run between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude from 2022.

Image Courtesy Alstom

As part of the project. Alstom deployed two Coradia iLint pre-production trains for normal passenger traffic. The aim was to test the feasibility of the hydrogen fuel cell units powering these trains. These trains have been running for the last 530 days and have covered over 180,000 km. Alstom has officially announced the culmination of the trials and now 14 such trains would be supplied to LNVG. These trains will run on the non-electrified routs and will replace the diesel multiple units running on these lines.

Each train has roof mounted hydrogen tanks which give them a range of 1000 Km, sufficient for a day’s running. The trains can operate at speeds up to 140 Km/h. These trains are very silent as compared to other trains, especially the diesel trains. Also, they are emission free, generating only water vapour as side product. The train features several other innovations like clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries and intelligent management of motive power and available energy.

Image Courtesy Alstom

The iLint was designed by Alstom teams in Salzgitter (Germany), their centre of excellence for regional trains, and in Tarbes (France) which is the centre of excellence for traction systems. The project benefited from the support of the German Ministry of Economy and Mobility. The development of the Coradia iLint was funded by the German government as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

Alstom has a contract to maintain these trains for 30 years. The refueling site for these trains would be built and operated by the gas company Linde at Bremervörde station.