Huge Development in Hydrogen Train Market: France Orders 12 Trains Fuelled by Hydrogen that might lead to Making Rail Transports a Zero Emissions Sector

Posted On April 28, 2021     

Hydrogen is a preferred fuel when it comes to the development of sustainable energy sources. It is considered to be the first step when countries set the agenda of cutting down carbon emissions. However, there is still a lot of advancement and research needed to make it a viable option. This is because producing hydrogen is an extravagant affair.

Recently, France took a big step towards achieving its agenda of zero-emissions future in the nascent technology sector. It has ordered 12 hydrogen-powered trains and is optimistic to begin tests for the same in four regions by the year 2023. These trains have a novel design and have the ability to run up to 600 kilometres (about 375 miles) on each hydrogen charge. It has been decided that the services by these trains would probably be able to start in 2025. The new trains are a massive advancement for Hydrogen Train Market as they are designed to mix hydrogen present onboard with oxygen from outside. This is done through fuel cell mounted in the roof that has the ability to power the motors. The whole concept is a huge step in making public rail transports a zero-emissions sector.

The tender for building the said trains has been given to French Industrial Group “Alston”. It has been revealed that the trains would operate either on hydrogen or electricity as overhead catenary wires are available. The contract is valued at 190 Million Euros ($225 Million), for only the first 12 trains. The models will have a seating capacity of 218 passengers. Their routes would be divided equally between the four regions in southern and eastern France.

Alstom, had first tested the prototypes in Germany three years ago which turned out to be quite successful. As a step ahead, the company has now proceeded with the commercial phase and has orders for 41 trains that are to be 72-metre-long (yards). At present, SNCF (French National Railway Company) operated with 1,100 regional express trains that are fuelled by diesel. France has decided to phase them all out by 2035. Meanwhile, the country is also actively considering alternative technologies founded upon batteries and a “green” fuel made from colza.

The new developments in France to make its railway sector more environmental friendly and reducing its carbon footprint might set the country as a trail blazer. This is a big example for other developed nations to follow which have set similar agendas as France to become green in coming decades.

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