Four hydrogen-powered trains have been ordered for the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and Caltrans. They are to be built by Stadler Rail, and the order comes with an option for an additional 25 trains in the future. Stadler's hydrogen trains in the US have been in operation since 2019.

Following testing in Switzerland and the US, the new trains will be a version with an enlarged capacity.

Whereas electric drive via overhead contact lines is a well adopted solution in many locations, ensuring clean air operations in cities, there are many routes across the US, and elsewhere, where such overhead contact lines are unavailable. Diesel trains are the staple for such routes, but Stadler's hydrogen-powered "FLIRT H₂" model provides a drop-in solution for routes of this nature. They allow a zero emission replacement of the diesel trains of old across short and medium length routes, and without the large investment of retrofitting overhead contact lines and substations on those routes.

The FLIRT H₂ operates an electric drive with hydrogen fuel cells as the energy source. They can operate both on non-electrified and electrified (or partially electrified) lines for "emission-free" passenger transport. The only by-product from the fuel cells is pure water! If coupled with green hydrogen - hydrogen produced from water by electrolysis using surplus or purpose built renewable electricity supplies - the FLIRT H₂ trains can provide a truly eco-friendly transport solution.

I find it exciting to see such trains being adopted in an ever wider range of locations. With every investment like this, we can see hydrogen and low carbon technologies improve even further, helping the world achieve their net-zero targets.

#transport #hydrogen #rail #netzero

Stadler has received an order from the State of California to build four hydrogen-powered trains for the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and Caltrans.

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