posted on 24th Aug 2022 11:37
On 24 August 2022, the world's first network with hydrogen trains in passenger service has started in Bremervörde. Five of the 14 Coradia iLints are currently running between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude (these being 554 009 to 013), with the remainder to be added by the end of 2022. Soon 554 004 will be handed over to the operator.
The 14 HMUs belong to LNVG (the Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen mbH, a subsidiary of the Lower Saxony). The LNVG had already set out in 2012 to find alternatives to diesel trains and thus provided an impetus for the development of the HMUs in Germany. Other project partners are Alstom, evb (Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser) and the gas and engineering company Linde.
The project has a worth of over 93 million EUR. Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony's Minister of Economics, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation, says: „I am very proud that the Niedersächsische Verkehrsministerium has assumed the costs for the procurement of 14 trains amounting to over 85 million EUR (6 million EUR for one Coradia iLint) and is making this groundbreaking project possible together with the LNVG. The fact that the federal government is contributing an additional 8.4 million EUR for the HMU procurement, as well as 4.3 million EUR to the costs of the refuelling station, ensures that the project will have an impact beyond our state borders and beyond Germany."
Starting in September 2018, there was a test passenger service of almost two years with two pre-series trains, which went without problems. The 14 Alstom-built regional HMUs will be used by evb on behalf of LNVG, replacing 15 DMUs. Thanks to a working range of 1,000 km, the Coradia iLints can run all day long on just one tank of fuel in the evb network. The Linde plant in Bremervörde contains 64 500-bar high-pressure storage tanks with a total capacity of 1,800 kg, six hydrogen compressors and two fuel pumps.