The German train operator RMV through its subsidiary Fahma has ordered 27 fuel cell trains from Alstom. The French manufacturer is to deliver the Coradia iLint 54 vehicles before the planned timetable change in 2022/2023.
The order also includes the supply of hydrogen, maintenance and reserve capacities for the next 25 years. The new fuel cell trains will replace the diesel-powered trains in the area around Frankfurt, in the German federal state of Hesse.
The hydrogen supply is offered by Alstom in cooperation with Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG. The H2 trains are refuelled in Industriepark Höchst. A hydrogen filling station for trains will supplement the existing H2 refuelling facilities for buses and trucks.
Prof. Knut Ringat, RMV Managing Director claims that “This award sets two records: With the commissioning of the new vehicles in 2022, RMV will have the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell trains in passenger transport and it is the largest order in the history of our subsidiary Fahma.” He explained that “This milestone makes me proud and is a giant step towards mobility without pollutants”. September last year saw the world’s first fuel cell train take up service. In January this year, Alstrom revealed a fuel cell train developed with Eversholt Rail that will take up service in the UK.
For Hochtaunuskreis District Administrator Ulrich Krebs, fuel cell trains in the Taunus network are a pragmatic choice. He said that commuters benefit from more space in the trains and a significantly quieter journey with the radically quieter electric drive. He pointed out that this is also an advantage for the people living near the affected train lines. The new trains have 160 seats. This will increase capacity on the lines in the Taunus subnet by up to 40 per cent, especially for trains in rush hour traffic.
“The purchase of the 27 vehicles is a beacon project for fuel cell mobility, which I am very pleased about,” says Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). “The federal government supports this investment in climate-friendly mobility by assuming 40 per cent of the additional vehicle costs incurred in comparison to diesel vehicles, as well as by proportionately subsidizing the hydrogen filling station. The project serves as a model for the BMVI. We hope that many more projects in Germany will follow this example”. The total order volume amounts to around 500 million euros.