French company Alstom at the exhibition InnoTrans in Berlin introduced anew regional train Coradia iLint, working on hydrogen fuel cells. The new development is almost ready for serial production. The first such train will start shipping in Germany in December 2017.
According to the World Bank, the total length of railways in Europe and Central Asia is 376 thousand kilometers, of which 212 thousand kilometers fall on the European Union. According to various estimates, only 65-70 percent of railways in Europe are electrified. At the same time, the share of diesel railway transport is high.
Alstom announced that the new hydrogen train will solve several problems at once. First, the widespread use of trains of this type will favorably affect the environment, since the product of hydrogen fuel cells is water. Secondly, the hydrogen train creates substantially less noise than diesel locomotives.
Details about the hydrogen installation of the train are not specified. Fuel cells are located on the roof of the locomotive. The electricity they produce is used to charge lithium-ion batteries, which, in turn, are fed by all on-board train systems and electric motors.
At the presentation, a train was presented from two hydrogen locomotives connected to a system of many units , within the framework of which the control of both coupling elements is carried out from one remote control. Coradia iLint at full refueling of hydrogen tanks can travel up to 800 kilometers. The train is designed to carry 300 passengers, including 150 seats.
Many European countries are already considering the possibility of transferring rail transport to alternative energy sources. In particular, it is planned that by 2018 all the railways of the Netherlands will switch to wind power. Part of the wind energy will be provided by Dutch wind farms, and the shortage will be filled by windmills in Belgium and Scandinavia.