September 22, 2023

Germany launches the first hydrogen-powered rail fleet in the world

Germany launches the first hydrogen-powered rail fleet in the world

BERLIN: Despite persistent supply issues, Germany on Wednesday launched a railway line powered entirely by hydrogen, a “world premiere” and a significant step toward green train travel.

Diesel locomotives have been replaced with a fleet of 14 trains that French industrial giant Alstom has supplied to the German state of Lower Saxony on the 100 kilometres of track connecting the cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde, and Buxtehude near Hamburg.

The world premiere of this technology will be implemented by Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge and strong partners.In Germany, 20% of trips still use diesel, which contributes to global warming. Hydrogen trains have emerged as a possible alternative.

As a “zero emission” means of transportation, the trains combine the oxygen in the air around them with the hydrogen that is already on board, all due to a fuel cell that is mounted on the roof. The electricity generated by doing this is used to move the train.

The fleet, which cost 93 million euros (or dollars), will stop 4,400 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere annually, according to regional train operator LNVG. Alstom’s trains, known as Coradia iLint, are pioneers in the industry. They were created in the town of Tarbes in southern France and put together in Salzgitter in central Germany.

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