Stadler FLIRT H2 train (Photo: Stadler)

Stadler to deliver first narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion

Stadler FLIRT H2 train (Photo: Stadler) Stadler

Stadler will soon become the first train manufacturer in the world to supply narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion. Italian railway operators Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (ARST) and Ferrovie della Calabria (FdC) have awarded the Swiss manufacturer with two framework agreements.

Having already delivered the FLIRT H2 for passenger transport in the United States, Stadler is now bringing its hydrogen train technology to Europe. Following the launch of two public tenders in June, ARST in Sardinia and FdC in Calabria have each awarded Stadler framework agreements for the design, production, delivery, and maintenance of 10 and 15 hydrogen trains, respectively.

The initial orders placed under these framework agreements involve the supply of 6 hydrogen trains to ARST and an additional 6 vehicles to FdC. These trains will be designed and manufactured at Stadler’s headquarters in Bussnang, near Saint Gallen in Switzerland. Both projects are financed with the support of EU funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

The trains

The trains, propelled by electricity generated in the hydrogen fuel cells, feature two passenger cars constructed from lightweight aluminium, which enhances the train’s energy efficiency. Additionally, a power pack is incorporated to accommodate fuel cells and hydrogen tanks, along with other essential technical components. The trains will primarily serve regional and suburban routes on the narrow-gauge (950-millimetre) network in the two Italian regions.

With an overall length of approximately 50 metres, these new trains can accommodate 89 seated passengers in each vehicle, resulting in a total capacity of 155 passengers. Moreover, the trains are fully accessible to individuals with reduced mobility, as they provide designated areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs, and bicycles, conveniently located near access and exit doors. Furthermore, the trains are equipped with a PRM (Persons with Reduced Mobility) toilet compliant with TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) standards.

Stadler in Italy

Stadler has already secured orders for over 130 trains in Italy, which have either been delivered or are in the process of being supplied to operators including Ferrovie Appulo Lucane in the Apulia and Basilicata Regions, Ente Autonomo Volturno in the Campania Region, and Ferrovia Vigezzina-Domodossola in the Piedmont Region.

Stadler will also supply bimodal locomotives for Trenitalia, a series of trams for ATM in Milan, and an additional fleet of metro narrow-gauge vehicles for EAV. The framework agreement, signed on 11 July 2023, encompasses the production and delivery of a maximum of 60 vehicles, for the regional services on the narrow-gauge railway network (950 mm) in the area around Mount Vesuvius.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at and

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