SPAIN: CAF has acquired a three-car Class 463 Civia electric multiple-unit from RENFE for conversion to a hydrogen fuel-cell demonstrator under the FCH2Rail research project.
Other participants include RENFE Operadora, ADIF, the Centro Nacional de Hidrógeno, Infraestruturas de Portugal, Faiveley Stemmann Technik, Toyota Motors Europe and German research organisation DLR.
The FCH2Rail consortium’s €14m project to design, develop and test a prototype hydrogen fuelled train was awarded a €10m grant from the European Commission’s Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking as part of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
Completion of the rebuild is expected by mid-2022. The trainset will then be tested on various electrified and non-electrified lines, with the locations of the test runs still to be confirmed.
No 463.199 is part of a large fleet of Civia EMUs built by CAF and Alstom in the late 1990s and early 2000s for use on suburban networks across the country. The EMU has been used as a research test bed in the past, having initially been built as a two-car set branded ‘CAF Investigación’. It was initially retained by the manufacturer for research during the early series production of the Civias, but in 2009 it received an intermediate trailer and entered commercial service around Zaragoza the following year. The unit was formally handed back to CAF in September 2021.