An Alstom hydrogen train broke a distance record on Thursday by traveling 1,175 km on a single tank of fuel across Germany, an iconic endurance patent in the search for alternatives to diesel.
The Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG) series train, which has been in commercial service since late August in northwestern Germany, has covered this distance without refueling between Bremervörde (northwest) and Munich (south), Alstom said Friday.
“Thanks to this trip, we have once again proved that our hydrogen trains have all the characteristics required to replace diesel trains,” commented the French manufacturer’s CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, quoted in a statement.
The train mixes the hydrogen on board with the oxygen in the ambient air, thanks to a fuel cell that produces the electricity needed to drive the train. It emits only water vapor, and is particularly virtuous – as long as the production of hydrogen is clean.
The German model, called iLint, runs solely on hydrogen, with a powertrain designed in France, in Tarbes. Designed specifically for use on non-electrified lines, it runs for the LNVG at speeds of 80 to 120 km/h, and can reach 140 km/h.
Alstom had announced at the time of its presentation a range of up to 1,000 km, like an equivalent diesel train.
The French group has delivered 14 to LNVG, which are in circulation, and has sold 27 for the Frankfurt area. It is also building 6 trainsets for the Italian market and is working on a French dual-mode, hydrogen and electric version.