Coradia iLint - Copyright Alstom.Rene Frampe 2

GERMANY: Baden-Württemberg local operator Südwestdeutsche Landesverkehrs is to test an Alstom iLint hydrogen multiple-unit in regular service.

The hydrogen trainset will be used in place of a diesel multiple-unit on Zollernalbbahn services around Tübingen and Sigmaringen from May 1 until the December timetable change. Alstom will provide and supply a hydrogen fuelling point, and servicing and maintenance will be carried out in the SWEG workshop in Gammertingen.

‘With the use of the iLint in day-to-day operations, we want to gain experience of how well this innovative technology can be integrated into existing operational processes’, explained SWEG CEO Tobias Harms on February 25. ‘It is about proving suitability for everyday use. We are also interested in the reaction of our passengers.’

The trials will help inform decisions about zero-emission operation on routes where the installation of electrification equipment is not seen as economical, and the use of hydrogen as an interim technology on lines where electrification is planned but not yet implemented.

‘We are faced with the question of how locally emission-free regional trains can be offered in the future’, said Harms. ‘As an infrastructure manager, it is important to find out whether there are alternatives to traditional railway electrification.’