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Hydrogen-powered train to test in Netherlands

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Alstom’s iLint hydrogen-powered train is to be tested in the Netherlands for the first time.

Following an agreement between Alstom, the Province of Groningen, local operator Arriva, Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail and energy company Engie, the train run on the track between Groningen and Leeuwarden, at up to 140km/h, for about two weeks during the first quarter of 2020.

The objective is to demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cell technology is an appropriate way to achieve zero-emission rail traffic on non-electrified lines in the Netherlands, where there are currently diesel trains running.

The Dutch railway network has approximately 1,000 kilometres of non-electrified line.

Bernard Belvaux, Alstom.

Bernard Belvaux, managing director of Alstom Benelux, commented: “Alstom is committed to developing and implementing mobility solutions that permit not only the emergence of fully sustainable transport systems but also help drive the broader energy transition.

“We look forward to demonstrating what has already been proven in Germany – that hydrogen represents a highly suitable way forward in both cases.”

The world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces electrical power for traction, the Coradia iLint is quiet and emission-free, emitting only water and steam during operation. It represents a clean alternative for railway operators and regional authorities wishing to replace diesel fleets for operation on non-electrified lines and meet ambitious zero-emission objectives.

Alstom iLint trains are in service in Lower Saxony, Germany.

Two iLint hydrogen trains have been in regular passenger service in Lower Saxony in Germany since September 2018. LNVG, the local transport authority, will operate a total 14 Coradia iLint trains on that line from 2021.

In addition, Fahma, a subsidiary of Rhein-Main transport authority RMV, has ordered 27 Coradia iLint trains – the largest fleet of hydrogen trains in the world – for operation from 2022.

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