Saudi Arabia Railways and Alstom to test hydrogen passenger train this month

1 min read

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), in partnership with Alstom, will operate and demonstrate the world’s first passenger hydrogen-powered train, the Coradia iLint, in Riyadh this month, with the demonstration marking the first-ever introduction of a hydrogen-powered train in the Middle East and Africa.

The collaboration between SAR and Alstom signifies a strong focus by the Kingdom to identify and test innovative sustainable mobility solutions to reduce carbon emissions from transport and meet Vision 2030 targets set by the Kingdom’s leadership.

The planned demonstration follows the memorandum of understanding signed by SAR and Alstom in September 2022 to develop or adapt hydrogen solutions for the needs of the Kingdom. Alstom’s Coradia iLint, a hydrogen-powered passenger train will embark on a first-of-its-kind journey in the Kingdom, travelling 10 to 20 kilometers on Riyadh’s East Network’s Line 1 or Line 2.

Dr Bashar Al-Malik, CEO of SAR, said, “SAR is fully committed to its essential national role, implementing game-changing initiatives in line with our strategic framework, closely aligned with the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS).”

He went on to emphasize the significance of the hydrogen train, declaring it to be one of the most crucial modern innovations in sustainable transportation. “Driven by emission-free energy generation, the hydrogen train offers a myriad of benefits, making it a compelling choice for sustainable energy solutions. Its positive impact spans across the environment, economy, and the future of generations to come,” Dr Al-Malik added.

Mohamed Khalil, managing director of Alstom in Saudi Arabia, continued, “This is a remarkable milestone in the history of SAR and Alstom. Alstom is honored to partner with SAR to showcase our hydrogen train in Riyadh. This collaboration signifies our shared commitment to sustainable transportation and our dedication to driving innovation in the railway industry. Hydrogen trains hold immense potential in reducing carbon emissions and providing a viable alternative to diesel trains for non-electrified lines. 

“This is a major steppingstone in co-developing hydrogen-powered train systems for operations suitable for and meeting the increasing capacity need of the Kingdom and SAR networks. We are committed to working with SAR in their drive to support the Kingdom’s engagements on clean energy and a net-zero target by 2060,” Khalil added.