Stadler to unveil new SBCTA hydrogen train and Caltrain EMU at APTA Expo in the US

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The San Bernardino County Transit Authority (SBCTA) and Stadler are unveiling Stadler’s first hydrogen passenger train for the first time in the US at APTA Expo in Orlando next week, with the new vehicle set to start operations in Southern California’s Inland Empire in 2024.

At the event, which runs from October 8-11, Stadler will also present its new electric multiple unit (EMU) for Caltrain – a California commuter rail line. Caltrain currently has 23 seven-car units on order with Stadler and has recently added a bi-level battery powered EMU to the fleet in production. The vehicles will be going into service on the route between San Francisco and San Jose and will replace Caltrain’s diesel-powered fleet in fall 2024.

SBCTA hydrogen train

The new FLIRT H2 train for SBCTA will be operated on the nine-mile route from San Bernardino to Redlands University and will perform up to 16 trips per day. This means that the vehicle will have a total daily mileage range of between 300 and 380 miles per day.

The zero-emission multiple unit (ZEMU) is equipped with a modular power pack that can power a four-car train. The power pack contains the hydrogen power equipment, including the fuel cells, batteries, and the hydrogen tanks. This means that hydrogen technology is spatially clearly separated from the passenger compartments of the train, Stadler noted.

Thanks to Stadler’s innovative propulsion solution, the FLIRT H2 can operate all day without re-fueling. Furthermore, the train is designed to handle operation in high ambient temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius)

The Stadler partnership and introduction of a hydrogen powered ZEMU in the US reflects SBCTA’s vision and leadership in bringing innovative transportation solutions to the forefront. The agency serves one of the most vibrant population and economic centers in the country and had the foresight to insist that any new rail service within the region break the mold when it comes to sustainable transit technology.

Caltrain EMU

Stadler’s new seven-car EMUs for Caltrain are being built at the US headquarters in Salt Lake City. So far, four vehicles have arrived in California and have been undergoing testing on the Caltrain network. Although the Stadler bi-level EMUs are a proven product in Europe and have been in service overseas for several decades, these will be the first to be deployed in the United States.

Caltrain’s new Stadler trainsets will serve as the foundation for the first modern, electrified railroad in California. These new trainsets and their associated infrastructure in California represent a keystone in the state’s transit and sustainability future. The project is a critical component of California’s future high-speed rail system as the two systems will share a corridor.

Furthermore, the associated electrification lays the foundation for Caltrain’s revolutionary 2040 Service Vision that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 110 metric tons every day, and support tripling ridership to 180,000 passengers every weekday – the equivalent of adding 5.5 new freeway lanes worth of capacity to US Highway 101.

The seven-car EMU, referred to as the KISS with its high performance and passenger capacity helps alleviate rapidly growing ridership by allowing faster and more frequent service. It offers seating for around 600 passengers and standing room for additional riders.