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World’s First Fully Hydrogen-Powered Train Debuts in Germany

The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train service has debuted in Germany. Coradia iLint trains — manufactured by a French manufacturer Alstom — are now operating in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The company stated that its trains only emit steam and water, and have very little noise. It initially rolled out 5 trains and plans to launch 9 more next month, replacing a fleet of 15 diesel-powered locomotives.

Alstom claims that these trains have 1000 kilometers of range and can run all day without requiring a refill. The company has set up a hydrogen fuel stations near Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervorde, and Buxtehude.

The manufacturer will expand its service in various regions across Germany, France, and Italy. Initially, it will launch a fleet of 27 hydrogen-powered trains in the Frankfurt metropolitan area.

The company stated that, despite electrification efforts, the majority of Europe’s rail network relies on non-electrified trains. There are over 4,000 diesel-powered vehicles in Germany alone that contribute massively to environmental pollution, it stressed.

Deutsche Bahn, the country’s railways operator, announced in 2020 that it would develop a hydrogen-powered train. The company points out that hydrogen-powered locomotives are the first step in the right direction, given that the complete normalization of electric trains across the continent will take time.