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TRANSPORT: Hydrogen powered trains infographic
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Hydrogen train

Graphic News

October 31, 2018 -- French TGV-maker Alstom has unveiled the world’s first passenger-carrying hydrogen-powered train -- the two-car Coradia iLint has a range of 600km and can travel at speeds of up to 140km/h.

Alstom’s hydrogen-powered iLint is a hybrid unit with a 200kW fuel cell and 225kW lithium-ion battery that stores surplus fuel-cell energy and recovers kinetic braking energy says David Shirres, editor of Rail Engineer.

On each coach are fuel cells and roof tanks that store 99kg of hydrogen at 350bar which the unit consumes at the rate of around 0.3kg/km, giving a range of 600km at speeds of up to 140km/h. It takes 15 minutes to refuel.

The iLint only emits steam and water as byproducts and is 60 per cent quieter than traditional diesel trains.

The first customer for the iLinkis the German state of Lower Saxony, which in 2017 signed contracts for 14 iLints which are to enter service on the 240km Cuxhaven-to-Buxtehude line from 2021. Until then two prototypes will operate on these lines.

Other German states have signed letters of intent for 50 iLint units. Countries looking into Alstom’s hydrogen trains, include Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Canada. In France, the government has already said it wants the first hydrogen train to be on the rails by 2022.

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