The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train has been unveiled this week by French transport company Alstom, which will be operating the incredibly quiet and environmentally friendly ‘Coradia iLint’ in Germany from next year.
The best thing about the Coradia iLint train is that it only leaks excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere, which means it offers a zero-emissions alternative to Germany’s 4,000-strong fleet of diesel trains.
The train was presented to the public for the first time last week at Berlin’s InnoTrans trade show. Nicknamed the hydrail, it’s set to become the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to regularly operate over long distances.
The iLint is expected to run on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven regional line in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, with testing and approval procedures to be carried out later this year, and public access to open up by December 2017.
According to German newspaper Die Welt, Lower Saxony’s local transportation authority has so far ordered 14 iLint trains from Alstom, and if they prove to be a success, more will likely be seen in other regional areas of the country.
Interest in the train has also been expressed by leaders in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
The iLint is powered by massive lithium ion batteries, which get their energy from a hydrogen fuel tank installed on the roof. On a full tank, which requires about 94 kg per car, the hydrail can operate for an entire full day, or travel up to 800 km. Its top speed is reportedly 140 km/h (87 mph).
Let’s hope the iLint can eventually replace the country’s diesel trains, and get them closer to their goal.