The French company Alstom has produced a new train that emits nothing more toxic to the environment than steam and water. “Hydrail” is the world’s first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission train, and it was recently tested in Germany with highly successful results. Its power comes from large fuel cells that sit on top of the train combining hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity. This electrical energy is transferred to lithium ion batteries where it can either be used immediately, or stored for later use. In addition to being completely emission free, the new train is 60% less noisy than traditional diesel trains… with the only sounds coming from the wheels.
The Hydrail is ideally suited for short stretches of the European network that have not been converted to electric rails. Its performance is equal to that of diesel trains with regard to speed and the ability to transport passengers. The Hydrail can travel up to 800 kilometres per day on a single 100 kilo tank of hydrogen, and it carries 300 passengers. The first operational trains will roll out early in 2018, and five federal states in Germany have already agreed to purchase a total of 60 trains from Alstom. The UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have also expressed interest in the train.