Germany launches world’s first fully hydrogen-powered railway line

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In a world where wonder never ceases, Germany has launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered railway line. Passenger trains will begin operations in the Lower Saxony region of the European nation. Coradia iLint will introduce a total of five units. These should be operational by the end of the year.

The hydrogen railway line will run between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervorde and Buxtehude. It is planned to replace 15 diesel trains. According to media reports, the trains are being developed by LVNG, a subsidiary of the German state, and French manufacturer Alstom under a deal worth 93 million euros (INR 741 crore).

The train can run for a whole day on a single tank of hydrogen and cover a distance of 1,000 kilometres. However, a service station was installed in Linde. At a top speed of 140 km/h, it is much less compared to the normal speed which is 80-120 km/h.

Keeping the environment and sustainability in mind, the trains are emission-free. They only emit steam and condense water while operating at a low noise level.

Currently, Alstom has three contracts with Coradia iLint for a hydrogen fuel cell, which can help generate electrical power for propulsion. It includes Germany (27 units in the Frankfurt metropolitan area), Italy (six units in the Lombardy region) and France (12 units in four different regions).

After a two-year trial, which began in September 2018, and pre-series trains, the train was launched.

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