Alstom sets new global milestone for clean, alternative drives in rail transport

2 min read

Alstom’s Coradia iLint has successfully traveled 1,175km without refueling its hydrogen tank, as part of the company’s demonstration of the effectiveness of its hydrogen powered solutions for long distance transportation.

Starting in Bremervörde, the route took an unmodified serially produced Coradia iLint train across Germany. From Lower Saxony, where the hydrogen train was built and developed by Alstom, it travelled through Hesse to Bavaria, all the way to Burghausen near the German-Austrian border before coming to a stop in Munich.

The vehicle used for this journey comes from the fleet belonging to LNVG (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen), the transport authority of Lower Saxony, and has been in regular passenger operation on the network of evb (Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH) since mid-August. For the project, Alstom also partnered with the gas and engineering company Linde.

Following the journey, the train will now head for the German capital. Several trips through Berlin are on the agenda as part of InnoTrans 2022.

“We are pleased to be leading innovation in this area as the first railway manufacturer in the world to offer a passenger train based on hydrogen technology. With this journey, we have provided further proof that our hydrogen trains have all the prerequisites to replace diesel vehicles,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO and chairman of the board at Alstom. “We are immensely proud of the pioneering work we have done in introducing hydrogen to rail transport.”

There is great international interest in sustainable mobility. In addition to the contract with LNVG for 14 Coradia iLint trains for operation in Lower Saxony, Alstom has been commissioned to supply 27 Coradia iLint trains for use in the Frankfurt metropolitan area. Outside Germany, Alstom is building six Coradia Stream hydrogen trains in the Italian region of Lombardy, with an additional option agreed for eight more vehicles.

The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train to run on a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electrical energy for propulsion. This completely emission-free train is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation. The Coradia iLint features several innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries, and intelligent management of motive power and available energy. Specifically developed for use on non-electrified lines, it enables clean, sustainable train operation while maintaining high performance. On evb’s network, the train travels at speeds of 80-120 km/h, with a maximum speed of 140 km/h.

The iLint was designed by Alstom teams in Salzgitter (Germany) and in Tarbes (France). The project benefits from the support of the German government and the development of the Coradia iLint was funded as part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) by the German government.

As part of demonstration of the iLint, Alstom released a series of videos looking at the train and the stakeholders involved in its development and rollout. In the video below, Andreas Frixen, green rail solutions director at Alstom talks about the train in detail and looks back at its development.