Coradia iLint: The Worlds First Fully Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Service

Alstom, an organisation that strives to provide sustainable foundations for the future of the transportation industry, has created the first fully hydrogen-powered passenger train service that runs on the line in Lower Saxony, Germany. Alstom first presented the Coradia iLint at the InnoTrans 2016 Berlin. Then, in 2018, the trains entered into commercial service in Germany. The deal cost the German railway LVNG 93 million euros. 

The Coradia iLint trains only emit steam and condensed water allowing it to replace the diesel trains the usually ran on the line. Moreover, the train operates with a low level of noise. Bruno Marguet, an executive with Alstom, stated: “You don’t smell the diesel smoke when you’re in the station… there aren’t diesel emissions from [nitrogen oxides], which are harmful for health.” [1] 

Notably, the Coradia iLint’s range of 1,000km gives it the ability to run all day on the line using a single tank of hydrogen. A hydrogen filling station has been set up on the route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude. The trains can reach a maximum speed of 89mph, according to Alstom. 

Carmen Schwable, a spokeswoman for LNVG, stated that they “will not buy any more diesel trains in order to do even more to combat climate change”. [1] 

Stephan Weil, the President of Lower Saxony, called the news of the train line a “model for the rest of the world” and “a milestone on the road to climate neutrality in the transport sector.” [2] 

Alstom has made agreements to use the Coradia iLint at other locales such as 27 trains in the Frankfurt metropolitan. As well as spreading across Germany, Alstom is also set to start running trains on lines in regions in Italy, France, Polan, Sweden and Austria. 

The rollout of the train line comes in light of European sanctions on Russia, including European countries like Germany detaching themselves from relying on Russian oil and gas imports. 

At Whitestone we say while the introduction of the Coradia iLint is a great step towards sustainable transportation is Europe, the European rail network still relies heavily on trains that are not electrified in the long term. For example, Germany has more than 4,000 diesel-powered cars. There is, nevertheless, progress in switching the country’s reliance from diesel to green energy: the country’s rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, stated that it was developing a hydrogen-powered train in 2020. As well as this, the development of the Coradia iLint was supported by the German Ministry of Economy and Mobility, and funded by the German government as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). 

The CEO of Alstom, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, stated: “Emission free mobility is one of the most important goals for ensuring a sustainable future”. [2] 



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