Railways of Germany start the use of hydrogen trains
German Railways are gradually abandoning the morally and technically obsolete diesel-powered rolling stock. An important step towards this was taken on 17 September 2018. The first hydrogen train made a test trip with passengers. It started from Bremervörde town and proceeded to Buxtehude, along the way making stops in other towns of Lower Saxony Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven.
This achievement was told on Radio Bremen. One of the world leaders in the field of mechanical engineering – Alstom (France) was engaged in the development of new products. Special elements called Coradia iLint were used as fuel. In the near future, the development will continue to run on the territory of North-West Germany. On 16 September the train run along the route Bremervörde – Buxtehude in test mode with no passengers. The rail run took place under the personal control of the Minister of Economy and Transport of Lower Saxony Bernd Althusmann.
What is the first hydrogen train?
The French engineering giant Alstom designed a train that can accelerate to 140 kilometers per hour. One tank filling is enough to overcome 1000 km. An important advantage is also the quietness of cruising. The engines are almost inaudible both outside and inside, which provides additional comfort for passengers.
The tank for hydrogenated fuel is located on the roofs of waggons. There is also a special element that converts the released energy into direct current, thereby providing power to electric motors. During the reaction, excess electricity is generated, which is sent to special lithium-ion storage devices located under the floor. Energy from them is spent for a trip if drivers dump speed.
Alstom noted that the train is absolutely safe for the environment. It does not emit any exhaust and harmful substances. As a result of the hydrogenation transformation, only steam and condensed water are released, which are also environmentally friendly.
The authorities of Lower Saxony have already announced plans for the complete replacement of obsolete “diesels” with innovative, hydrogen compounds. In particular, by 2021, the Ministry of Transport of the Federal land will purchase 14 units more. As they arrive, the depot will write off the “dirty” transport and dispose of it, gradually putting the new product into operation. According to Deutsche Welle, 81.3 million EUR were allocated for the purchase. For 3 years of the transition period, the Germans will have to solve the main problem that prevents the full launch – the lack of hydrogenated gas stations. Because of this, it is too expensive to run such trains right now.
Alstom is not the only company that promotes its products on the German railways. Canadian machine builder Bombardier also agreed to launch its development in another region of the country. It will also use hydrogen fuel.