“Hydrail” is the name of the first hydrogen-powered train that was built in Germany and successfully tested last month (March, 2017).
Jens Sprotte of Alstom is the French producer of the train, and stated that the hydrogen based-train matches the performance of a diesel train in terms of speed and transporting capacity, excepting the noise produced (60% less noisy than a diesel train), and the emissions (the hydrogen-powered train produces no harmful emissions).
Sprote stated further that the only noise produced by the hydrogen-based train is generated by its wheels and the air resistance.
Hydrail uses the same equipment, like a regular diesel train, and the only difference consists in the fuel source used by the vehicle.
Large fuel cells are mounted on the top of the train that combine hydrogen with oxygen to generate clean electricity that is used to power lithium-ion batteries.
The energy that is not used directly to power the train is stored in the lithium-ion batteries for later use and to increase the fuel efficiency of the train.
By using the hydrogen as fuel source, the train manages to emit only steam and water, which represents a small impact on the environment.
Stefan Schrank, project manager at Alstom, says that the train is so clean that anyone can breath the air released behind it.
A number of five federal states in Germany, have already signed a letter of intent, in which they’ve requested to purchase a number of 60 hydrogen-based trains from the French company Alstom.
The train is called Coradia iLint and was built to replace the regional diesel trains used by commuters.
With one fuel cell and a full tank of hydrogen (207 pounds), the hydrail can carry 300 passengers and is able to travel up to 500 miles (800 km) per day.
Alstom says that the hydrail trains will roll out a pilot program in Germany at the beginning of 2018, and will provide a green alternative to the 4,000 diesel trains currently operating in Germany.
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