Alstom to develop fuel cell emission-free trains

Posted on 20 Mar 2015 by Tim Brown

Alstom representatives and Helmut Riegger, the District Administrator of Calw in Germany, have signed a letter of intent for the planned use of new fuel cell drive emission-free trains on the Hermann-Hesse railway line.

The agreement will see Alstom begin to develop a fuel cell emission-free train to replace diesel locomotives in the Black Forest region of Germany.

“The new trains for Hermann-Hesse railway line will be completely emission-free. In times of increasing energy costs and higher level of pollution, the development of this technology is essential. Alstom is proud that the district of Calw is supporting and sharing the company’s vision of the railway transportation of the future”, said Dr Martin Lange, managing director of Alstom Transport in Germany.

“Emission-free trains simply fit in better in the natural environment of the Black Forest,” said Helmut Riegger.

This new train generation will be based on the Alstom Coradia platform. In addition to being completely emission-free, the train will consume less energy, thanks to the use of an intelligent energy management system, and its noise level will be drastically reduced compared to conventional diesel trains.

Moreover, it is equipped with a fuel cell drive, a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction. A proven technology, which the company said is used by the automotive industry.

The emission-free trains will be developed manufactured in Salzgitter, Alstom’s competence centre for regional trains in Germany.

Alstom signed four previous letters of intent in September, 2014 with other regions including German Landers of Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg for the use of the new generation of emission-free trains.