Coradia iLint enters passenger service in Lower Saxony © René Frampe

German Coradia iLint hydrogen train project wins European Railway Award

German operator LNVG won the European Railway Award on Monday with the hydrogen train project iLint. General Director Carmen Schwabl of LNVG received the prize at an online ceremony. Two of Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains ran on the timetable in Lower Saxony between September 2018 and the end of February 2020, the world’s first hydrogen passenger train in mainline operation.

In regular passenger transport, the hydrogen trains successfully covered more than 180,000 kilometers. The series production of the Coradia iLint is currently underway. The first series-produced train will be used in regular passenger transport in Germany from 2022.

Alstom’s Coradia iLint was nominated for the award by a jury consisting of drivers from the European rail sector, EU policymakers, previous winners and journalists. The jury praised the excellent cooperation between the project partners LNVG, Alstom, the federal state of Lower Saxony, the transport company Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (evb) and the gas and engineering company Linde.

A first in Lower Saxony

“It is not self-evident that a government body stimulates and supervises a technological development of such magnitude. With our partners in the test phase, we have achieved a worldwide first in passenger transport in Lower Saxony,” said Schwabl. “Our goal was to offer a realistic alternative to diesel, to make it market-ready and to use it in the first network in daily passenger transport.” As part of the award, the winner could donate ten thousand euros to charity. LNGV chose to give the prize money to SOS-Kinderdorf and SOS-Mütterzentrum Salzgitter.

“We are very pleased that our customer LNVG has received an award for our innovative hydrogen train project. Our joint project Coradia iLint shows our commitment to green mobility in combination with the latest technology. Today we can be very proud of our innovative Coradia iLint, the world’s first and only existing hydrogen train,” said Gian Luca Erbacci, senior vice president of Europe at Alstom.

Hydrogen train

The Coradia iLint hydrogen train only emits water vapor and condensed water, making it a zero emission vehicle. The lithium-ion battery at the bottom of the vehicle stores energy from the fuel cell when it is not needed for traction. The battery also absorbs braking energy and returns this energy when accelerating. When driving at a constant speed, the electricity produced by the fuel cell charges the battery. The hydrogen train is designed for use on non-electrified routes and therefore enables clean and sustainable train traffic on these routes as well.

The European Railway Award is organised by Unife, the European Railway Supplier Association and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER). This award has been presented every year since 2007 for outstanding achievements in the development of economically and ecologically sustainable rail transport.

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Author: Marieke van Gompel

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