Alstom to build six H2 fuel cell trains for Italy

Alstom will build six fuel cell trains for FNM, a transport company operating in the Italian region of Lombardy. The contract also includes an option for eight additional FC trains. In the meantime, Alstom’s Coradia iLint fuel cell train has completed a three-month test run in Austria.

In Italy, the newly signed contract between Alstrom and FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano) has a total value of around 160 million euros. The first trains are to be delivered within three years of the order, which means from the end of 2023. The Lombardy trains will be powered by hydrogen and based on Alstom’s regional train platform Coradia Stream. The platform is tailored for the European market and is already being built for Italy by Alstom’s main Italian sites.

The train’s hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology will be adopted by Cordia Stream from Cordia iLint. Alstom says that the heavy-duty, long-distance public transport vehicle has an operating performance and range will be similar to that of diesel trains but does not give more details on the vehicle’s performance data. The project development, manufacture and certification of the Coradia Stream trains will mainly take place at the Group’s Savigliano site, while the on-board signalling systems will be supplied by the Bologna site.

“We are immensely proud to be introducing hydrogen train technology to Italy, and we recognise the trust placed in us by our Italian customer,” said Gian Luca Erbacci, Senior Vice President of Alstom Europe. He said that the development confirms Alstom’s role in defining the future of mobility and that: “These trains, together with the Coradia iLint that have already proven themselves in commercial service in Germany, represent another major step in the transition towards global sustainable transport systems”.

In Germany, Alstom’s first H2 train model is indeed already in selective service. Since September 2018, two Coradia iLint have been on the Elbe-Weser network in Lower Saxony. For 2021, the regional public transport company of Lower Saxony (LNVG) also aims to deploy 14 Coradia iLint on the line. The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), which has ordered 27 units from Alstom via its subsidiary Fahma, is also planning to follow suit.

In Austria, the Coradia iLint built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, has meanwhile successfully completed a three-month test run on the regional lines of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). In addition, the model has received official approval from the Ministry of Climate Protection for the Austrian rail network. After Germany, Austria is now the second country in Europe to fully approve the Coradia iLint as an emission-free alternative to diesel multiple units.

ÖBB tested the H2 train on four demanding routes in southern Lower Austria, Vienna and eastern Styria. The model also delivered the promised performance on steep sections of track and under the most diverse climatic conditions. According to Alstom, the collected data will now be evaluated “to further perfect the technology for the operational context”.

Alstom has now sold 41 Coradia iLint models in Germany. The Coradia Stream trains for Italy have now been added. The manufacturer cites Great Britain and the Netherlands as further interested countries. In the Dutch province of Groningen, the train has already completed tests in spring 2020, the results of which were published in early October.

Finally, we have received news that Alstom can go ahead with the planned takeover of Bombardier’s train division. According to the French company, all the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained. The merger should be completed on 29 January 2021.

With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France (Italy), (Austria), (Bombardier)


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