Germany is all set to launch into service the world’s first hydrogen powered train in 2017. The train will be emission free which is considered a major breakthrough as a substitute of the heavily polluting vehicles. This innovation will help get rid of the diesel-powered trains that emit hazardous gases into the atmosphere which cause pollution. Experts believe that with the advent of the hydrogen powered train, it will cause a decrease in the high carbon levels in the air.
Termed as the “hydrail”, this emission free train will begin its service on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven line. This line is located in Lower Saxony, in northern Germany. According to estimates, the train service will be available to the laymen by December 2017.
Alstom will produce these hydrogen powered trains
The hydrogen powered trains are undergoing various tests at the moment. The French company, Alstom, will produce around 60 such locomotives if the test results turn out to be positive. Four German companies have already signed an agreement with Alstom in this context.
In the initial stages of this service, the hydrail will operate on a 60-mile route. Alstom CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge released a statement saying that the company is proud to launch an innovative breakthrough in the field of emission-free transportation. He also states that the company will work in collaboration with its customers and will produce such trains over a span of two years.
This French rail transport company successfully launched Coradia iLint in a trade fair held in Berlin earlier this year. Popularly known as hydrail, it will be silent during its commute.
Operation of the hydrail
Unlike other diesel-powered engines, the hydrail will operate on a tank full of hydrogen. This tank is placed on the roof of the locomotive. This, in turn, will power fuel cells which will produce electrical energy. On doing so, the engine will only emit steam and condensed water, unlike other mainstream trains which release harmful carbon constituents in the atmosphere.
The hydrogen powered train not only reduces the level of pollution in the air but also cut down on the noise pollution. This is possible because the train will only emit a very low level of sound when in use. The train is capable of an onboard hydrogen storage capacity which is enough for a 497-mile range. It will run at a speed of 87 miles per hour.
The train has equipment similar to the diesel trains but has a new technology inbuilt which uses hydrogen as a fuel. One of its drawbacks is that it is not suitable for the electric railway lines.
Currently, Germany has around 4,000 diesel trains which commute on a regular basis. Studies suggest that these trains are the cause behind 20% of the country’s pollution. With the advent of the hydrogen powered trains, a major difference in the pollution level will be evident.