FNM and Alstom present Italy’s first hydrogen-powered train

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Italian public transport firm FNM and Alstom have jointly presented Italy’s first hydrogen-powered Coradia Stream train at EXPO Ferroviaria 2023, ahead of the vehicle’s roll out next year.

The train will enter commercial service in Valcamonica in eastern Lombardy between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025, along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line of Ferrovienord. The rail service on this line is operated by Trenord, and the new hydrogen train is part of the H2iseO project, which aims to create Italy’s first Hydrogen Valley in Brescia.

The hydrogen powered Coradia Stream meets the European target of reducing CO2 emissions by 100% by 2050 and is the first zero direct CO2 emission train for Italy equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, with a total capacity of 260 seats and a range of more than 600km, Alstom noted.

The presentation of the new train followed the agreement signed by FNM and Alstom in November 2020 to supply Trenord with six hydrogen fuel cell trains, with an option for eight more.

Promoted by FNM, Ferrovienord and Trenord, H2iseO aims to develop an economic and industrial hydrogen supply chain in Valcamonica, starting from the mobility sector, initiate the energy conversion of the territory, and contribute to the decarbonization of a significant part of local public transport.

It is a highly innovative project, which envisages, among other things, the construction of three plants for the production, storage, and distribution of renewable hydrogen without CO2 emissions (in Brescia, Iseo and Edolo), as well as the commissioning of 40 hydrogen buses to replace the entire fleet used today by FNM Autoservizi.

The new hydrogen-powered trains are based on the model of Alstom's single-deck Coradia Stream regional train, aimed at the European market, and already produced by Alstom in Italy.

They can operate on non-electrified lines as a replacement for trains using fossil fuels and offer comfort and quietness characteristics comparable to other electric Coradia models, with a range of more than 600km.

The train was created and produced at Alstom's plants in Italy, involving the Savigliano site for development, certification, production and testing, the Vado Ligure site for the outfitting of the “power car” in which the hydrogen-related part is installed, the Sesto San Giovanni site for components and the Bologna site for the development of the signaling system.

“[The unveiling of the new hydrogen train] marks a milestone in the journey started by the FNM Group in November 2020 with H2iseO,” said FNM president Andrea Gibelli. "This is a project with a high innovation content, embracing social, economic, geographic, environmental and mobility dimensions, and it has great value in terms of sustainability because it allows us to use the already existing railway infrastructure by putting new hydrogen trains into service, which are able to cut emissions, contribute to the decarbonization of mobility in the valley and ensure greater comfort for travelers.”

Michele Viale, general manager of Alstom Italy and president and CEO of Alstom Ferroviaria, added, “The hydrogen train will be the protagonist of Italy’s first Hydrogen Valley, located in Valcamonica along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line, and will replace the current diesel trains.”