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:Uploaded on Monday 7th Nov 2016

Germany to have the World's First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Coradia iLint

  • Alstom has presented its zero-emission train at InnoTrans, the railway industry’s largest trade fair, which takes place in Berlin from 20 to 23 September 2016.
  • The world's first hydrogen-powered emission-free train, the Coradia iLint from Alstom, is set to go into service in Germany at the end of 2017.

World's First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train?

When it comes to rail innovations, it’s usually the fastest, longest and most expensive energy efficient and environmental friendly rails innovation that get people’s attention. Germany is going to launch the first ever very environmental friendly passenger rail service powered by hydrogen. The world's first hydrogen powered, emission-free train is set to enter into transit service in Germany in 2017 – an amazing innovation that could lead to the phasing out of heavily polluting, diesel-powered trains.

French transit company Alstom unveiled the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train named as Coradia iLint, which will begin making trips in Germany at the end of the 2017. The news was first reported by German newspaper Die Welt . The newspaper Die Welt has also reported that the first "hydrail", or hydrogen-powered train, will begin transporting passengers on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony, in northern Germany, in December 2017.

HelpShareideas- Tech news Alstom Train Coradia iLint image

Click on the image to goto to find out more about Coradia iLint -It will open in Newtab

Although the first train in operation will only run a short, 60-mile (96-kilometer) route, four German states have signed an agreement with Alstom , the French company that builds the trains, for the purchase of up to 60 additional locomotives, if they are judged a success.

"Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation," Alstom chairman and CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, said in a statement.

"It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years."

Alstom unveiled the new train at InnoTrans, an annual trade show in Berlin this week. Starting at the end of 2017, the train will run on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony.

HelpShareideas- Tech news Alstom Train Coradia iLint image

It can be notable that the Coradia iLint may be the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train, but it’s not the first vehicle to run on hydrogen fuel cells. Stan Thompson, former strategic planner at AT&T had coined the term "hydrail" in 2004 to describe any type of rail vehicle that uses hydrogen fuel cells.

What is Hydrail?

Hydrail is the generic term which denotes all forms of rail vehicles, large or small, which use on-board hydrogen as a source of energy to power the traction motors, or the auxiliaries, or both. As for as working of Hydrail is concerned, Hydrail vehicles convert the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy, either by burning hydrogen in a hydrogen internal combustion engine or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors.

The term hydrail was coined in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy in February 17, 2004 . Usually Hydrail vehicles are hybrid vehicles with renewable energy storage, such as batteries or super capacitors, for regenerative braking, improving efficiency and lowering the amount of hydrogen storage required. Potential hydrail applications include all types of rail transport: commuter rail; passenger rail; freight rail; light rail; rail rapid transit; mine railways; industrial railway systems; trams; and special rail rides at parks and museums.

Some facts on Coradia iLint.

Coradia iLint is a new CO2-emission-free regional train and alternative to diesel power. It is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, its only emission being steam and condensed water while operating with a low level of noise. The Coradia iLint engine uses hydrogen which is already created as a waste product by the chemical industry, among other manufacturers. As this hydrogen is simply burned, instead using it to power trains would not place any new, or create an additional burden on the environment.

Alstom is among the first railway manufacturers in the world to develop a passenger train based on such a technology.This launch follows the Letters-of-Intent signed in 2014 with the German Landers of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, and the Public Transportation Authorities of Hesse for the use of a new generation of emission-free train equipped with fuel cell drive.

“Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation which will complete its Coradia range of regional trains. It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years,” declared Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Chairman and CEO.

Alstom’s Coradia range of modular regional trains has a proven service track record spanning more than 16 years. Over 2,400 trains have been sold around the world and demonstrate a high availability rate. Coradia iLint is based on the service-proven diesel train Coradia Lint 54. It will be manufactured in Salzgitter, Alstom’s largest site.

Is Hydrail: the future of railway?

Across the world many are currently relying on far more heavily polluting diesel engines. As the railway industry considers possible replacements for carbon-intensive diesel fuel, hydrogen and LNG stand out as major contenders. Notable thing is that the Energy to power the Hydrail is generated by large fuel cells that sits on top of the train. This cell combines hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity, which is then stored in batteries.

Each two-car train-set requires a fuel cell and a 207 pound (94kg) tank of hydrogen to supply it, while the oxygen is obtained from the local air. The train can complete a 500 mile (800 kilometer) journey on a full tank of hydrogen, which is enough for one day according to Alstom, and carries up to 300 passengers.

Hydrail technology would be truly revolutionary as trains powered by conventional electric sources are not inherently dirty. Although Electrifying minor routes with low passenger numbers might not always be cost effective but still we can say that Hydrail can have the bright future in railways in coming days.

Source : Alstom Press Release

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