China’s CRRC Corporation Ltd. recently unveiled its first hydrogen urban train, which happens to be Asia’s first hydrogen train. The hydrogen train gets a top speed of 160 km/h, and the operational range without refueling is 600 km (the record of 1175 km has been set this September by Coradia iLint serial train of Alstom in Germany). On the other hand, India is also moving fast to make its first-ever indigenous Hydrogen trains. As per various statements given by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, India will most likely get its first hydrogen train by 2023.
The Hydrogen train was developed on the basis of the Fuxing high-speed platform and includes 4 cars with it. CRRC also introduced such a shunting locomotive in 2021, and hydrogen trams were produced earlier in the mid-2010s.
World’s first Hydrogen train
Earlier, Germany became the first country to operate the world’s first-ever hydrogen-powered passenger train fleet. As per the German govt, it will replace 15 diesel trains, which were previously being operated on tracks that lacked electric supply in Lower Saxony, Germany. The fleet comprises 14 trains, which use fuel cells to generate power, making it the cleanest-greenest train fleet ever.
Hydrogen has been looked at as a potent replacement for fossil fuels in the transportation industry. Fuel cells of smaller sizes are also being developed for their utilisation in cars. Although, the technology is still in its nascent stage for a mass-market product. The challenge of transporting hydrogen and its retail is a challenge, which still needs to be ironed out.