After ten days of successful tests, Alstom’s Coradia iLint train ran 65 kilometres of line between Groningen and Leeuwarden in the northern area of the Netherlands.
The tests follow 18 successful months of passenger service on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven line in Germany, where a total of 41 Coradia iLint have already been commissioned.
The latest tests have made the Netherlands the second country in Europe where the train has run effectively and shown itself to be an emissions-free solution for non-electrified lines.
In October last year, Alstom and the Province of Groningen, the Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail, local operator Arriva, and the energy company Engie signed a pilot project agreement to test the Coradia iLint.
DEKRA, a self-governing testing inspection and certification company, have been selected as test leader.
The examinations are being performed at night at up to 140 km/h without passengers. For the purpose of the tests, a mobile filling station has been built by Engie for refuelling the Coradia iLint with completely green, sustainably produced, hydrogen.
The new train is the world’s first regional passenger train to run equipped with fuel cells to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, therefore eradicating pollutant emissions linked to propulsion.
The train is completely silent and the only emission it produces is water. It provides clean, sustainable traction whilst not impacting its performance. It also has a range of approximately 1000 kilometres, which is the same as equivalent-size diesel multiple units. The train has been developed and produced by the Alstom teams in Salzgitter, Germany and Tarbes, France.
Managing Director at Alstom Bernelux, Bernard Belvaux, said: “The tests in the Netherlands demonstrate how our hydrogen train is mature in terms of availability and reliability, providing the same performance as traditional regional trains, but with the benefit of low noise and zero emissions.
“It is also easy to integrate in an existing fleet and is compliant with all safety regulations. The Coradia iLint hydrogen train is a reliable emission-free train ready to help transport us to a carbon-neutral Europe.”