Hydrogen Fuel Cell; The Future of Locomotives.

November 18, 2021

Hydrogen fuel cells have been used in cars over the last decade, are completely emission-free, quiet, and emit only water vapour and condensation, from their reaction unlike traditional combustion engines, emitting harmful greenhouse gases.

2021 saw the unveiling of the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered train, Coradia iLint. Developed by French company Alstom, highlighting the potential for sustainable locomotive transport.

The Coradia iLint trains represent a huge opportunity for Poland to reduce CO2 emissions and even decarbonise rail transport

Sławomir Nalewajka, Managing Director of Alstom in Poland, Ukraine and the Baltics.

China has followed suit with the development of its first hydrogen fuel cell-powered train. Currently, still under testing in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with a reduction of carbon emissions by about 80 kg per 10,000-ton-km compared to a diesel train. Developed in a joint venture by State Power Investment Corporation Limited (SPIC) and CRRC Datong Co.

Is the development of hydrogen fuel cell-powered trains a sign for the future of trains moving away from fossil fuels or electricity-powered trains? Will the successful testing of these trains, lead to a change towards hydrogen fuel cells and the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure? 

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