According to a report by Inhabitat, French company Alstom has presented the first passenger train that is completely powered by hydrogen at the Berlin InnoTrans trade show. The hydrogen train or hydrail will be put into service on Germany’s Buxtehude-Bremervorde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony by December 2017. After 2 years of development, the Coradia iLint train provides zero-emission alternative to Germany’s existing fleet of diesel trains, all thanks to a roof mounted tank of hydrogen fuel.
The hydrail is an electric train which operates using a hydrogen fuel tank on its roof that powers a fuel cell to generate electricity. This train, and others like it to come in the future, are part of a big push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The Coradia iLint will be the first of its kind to carry passengers along the railway, as most innovations in hydrail technology have been focused on cargo transport.
Because of its electric engine, the train is quieter as compared to traditional diesel trains. Even at its top speed of 87 m/h, the only sound the passengers will hear comes from the motion of the wheels and the air resistance.
Although the hydrail trains are reportedly more expensive than existing diesel models, officials in other parts of Germany, as well as in the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark are quite interested in bringing the clean running trains to their regular services as well.