Nestlé Waters will operate a hydrogen freight train

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From 2025, Nestlé Waters will become the first company in Europe to operate a hydrogen freight train thanks to a solution developed by Alstom and ENGIE.

Through this project, a high-powered fuel cell system will be used to power electric locomotives in non-electrified areas. This will allow goods to be transported over long distances at national and European level.

This solution, developed by Alstom and ENGIE as part of a partnership announced in April 2022will include the supply of renewable hydrogen and is expected to reduce Nestlé’s long-term emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Non-contractual design for illustrative purposes

From 2025, Nestlé Waters will use a freight train powered by electricity in the electrified sections of the network and by hydrogen in the non-electrified sections. This vehicle will transport VITTEL natural mineral water between its factory in the Vosges and its distribution centers across France.

The dual-mode solution will include a generator car with a high-power fuel cell system capable of powering the locomotive without an overhead line.

Sophie Dubois, Managing Director of Nestlé Waters in France said:

“At Nestlé Waters, we favor rail freight whenever possible. We are constantly looking for effective solutions to reduce the carbon impact of our supply chain.

“We are very proud of this project as it represents a significant investment by our railway team to find innovative solutions to meet climate and environmental challenges. This collaboration with Alstom and ENGIE will accelerate the development of a decarbonized/carbon-free supply chain.

This solution aims to replace the diesel locomotives currently used on most lines in France and throughout Europe.

The high-power hydrogen fuel cell system was developed by Alstom to offer an all-electric solution for rail freight, including first and last miles, which are rarely electrified.

In the meantime, ENGIE will supply the renewable hydrogen for this approach.

Marc Granger, Alstom’s Chief Strategy Officer, said:

“Alstom was a pioneer in hydrogen trains by developing the first hydrogen train in commercial operation in the world.

“Our ambition is to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen in the rail industry and to develop innovative solutions for the greening of mass mobility, including rail freight. We therefore look forward to the first circulation of a freight locomotive powered by renewable hydrogen in 2025. To go further, this solution, which is more respectful of the environment and generates less noise than diesel, will make it possible to develop the modal share of rail freight by offering an end-to-end electric solution, a real alternative to freight transport.

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