posted on 8th Dec 2022 14:13
In early December 2022, Arriva Nederland has started a tender for new built hydrogen trains for operations on the regional lines in the provinces of Groningen and Frieslân, in the North of the Netherlands. The tender concerns purchase of four HMUs with an option for two more. The future contract will also include their maintenance until 2035, with an option for extension. The tender follows a short trial with Coradia iLint in the North of the Netherlands in early 2020, which was successfully operated and turned into the present development for ordering hydrogen trains.
Arriva is the operator of concessions for train operations on the regional lines in the provinces of Groningen and Frieslân, granted by the provinces as regional transport authorities. The concession, having become effective from December 2020, prescribes conditions to stimulate sustainability and environment and includes the ambition for zero-emission operation of passenger trains in 2035. This ambition focuses on hydrogen propulsion. The Province of Groningen has a strong policy for hydrogen: it participates in a windmill park in the North Sea and wants a large hydrogen plant to be constructed in its area for generating green hydrogen. This should - among other clients - serve its regional transport both on road and rail.
Arriva Nederland wants to achieve an agreement with the Province of Groningen for further innovation of HMUs, which are to be ordered in addition to a full-size fleet. Key is to gain experience in hydrogen propulsion operations and it is likely, if experiences with the new to order trains are positive, that the regional public transport authority will require replacement of diesel traction by hydrogen traction in the next concession, which is to become effective in 2035. Replacement of the present fleet will need 51 Stadler-built GTW 2/8 and 2/6 SPURT DMUs.
Initially the new hydrogen trains are to operate in the regular timetable services and are also to provide extra fleet capacity when regular passenger train services are to be resumed between Veendam and Stadskanaal with a direct connection to the city of Groningen. At present this line is only used by preservation organization STAR, operating with steam locomotives and historic diesel trains.
The tender proceeding will be based on direct negotiations with bidders. For selection of the winning bidder, the following criteria apply: price 70 %, number of seats 10 %, delivery date 10 % and distance between operation area and the workshop 10 %. Bids must have been submitted before 20 January 2023, and must stay valid for at least 4 months after submission.