Stadler to deliver the first narrow-gauge hydrogen trains in Italy

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Italian rail operators Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (ARST) and Ferrovie della Calabria (FdC) have awarded Stadler two framework agreements to develop, supply and maintain 25 narrow-gauge (950mm) hydrogen trains for regional and suburban transport in Italy.

The agreements include 10 hydrogen trains for ARST in Sardinia and 15 for FdC in Calabria. Initially, 12 trains – six for each of the rail firms – will be developed and built at Stadler’s headquarters in Bussnang, Switzerland.

According to Stadler, the two orders for ARST and FdC represent the first hydrogen-powered narrow-gauge multiple units in Italy. They are also the firm’s first orders for hydrogen trains in Europe. They follow the delivery of the FLIRT H2 by Stadler, the first hydrogen train for American passenger transport.

Both the ARST and FdC projects are funded by the EU under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

Ansgar Brockmeyer, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Stadler, said, “Stadler, ARST and FdC have a long-standing and innovative partnership. We are proud to work together to drive the decarbonization of rail transport in Italy. The new narrow-gauge hydrogen trains are a world first and groundbreaking for sustainable rail transport on narrow-gauge lines worldwide. We would like to thank ARST and FdC for their trust and look forward to further deepening our partnership.”

Above: The hydrogen train PowerPack

The vehicles will consist of two passenger cars, whose lightweight aluminum construction helps to increase the energy efficiency of the train, and a PowerPack, which houses the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks as well as other technical equipment.

With a total length of around 50 meters, the new trains offer 89 seats per vehicle for a total of 155 passengers and are also fully accessible to people with reduced mobility. In addition, the new vehicles offer dedicated areas for wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles near the entry and exit doors, as well as a toilet for persons with reduced mobility (PRM) that complies with TSI standards.

With the new contracts, Stadler confirms its leading role in Italy in the development, supply, commissioning, and approval of narrow-gauge trains. Stadler has received orders for more than 130 trains, which have been or will be delivered to operators such as Ferrovie Appulo Lucane (FAL) in the regions of Puglia and Basilicata, Ente Autonomo Volturno (EAV) in the Campania region and Ferrovia Vigezzina-Domodossola in the Piedmont region.

Stadler is strengthening its position in Italy in all segments of rail transport. Recently, Stadler received new orders for the supply of bimodal locomotives for Trenitalia, a new series of trams for ATM in Milan and an additional fleet of metro narrow-gauge vehicles for EAV.