Europe Proves Efficiency Of Hydrogen Trains
The introduction of trains that use « clean » hydrogen energy as fuel has proven effective in environmental programmes. The new locomotives have been tried by several European countries with the support of major gas companies, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Railways in several European countries have been the site of a green initiative with French company Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains since 2016. The new trains are equipped with hydrogen fuel cell electric motors. The energy generated by braking the vehicles is stored in the on-board batteries of the locomotive. At the moment Coradia iLint is running all over Germany, with a total length of 110,000 miles (177,000 km) across Europe.
Experts consider hydrogen to be the best alternative to diesel, which is still used on half of European railways and in the US. According to Alstom representatives, it is not necessary to use only new trains to expand the clean transport network; the existing diesel locomotives can also be upgraded to hydrogen ones.
The greening of the railway is supported by billions of dollars in investments by Air Liquide, Linde and Air Products to expand industrial gas production.
Alstom’s competitors are Spain’s CAF, Germany’s Siemens and Switzerland’s Stadler, which are developing new models of hydrogen-powered trains for Europe. Hitachi is working on a hybrid for Japan.