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Cummins fuel cell tech powers new zero-emissions rail fleet in Germany

Alstom Coradia iLint train (Source: Alstom)

Cummins Inc. has announced that it is powering the world's first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world's first 100 percent-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train fleet arrived in mid-summer.

"The rail industry in Europe is entering a new era of sustainability, and Cummins is excited and ready to help transition it to emission-free solutions," said Amy Adams, Vice President of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Cummins.

"We are innovating fuel cell and hydrogen technology that can essentially convert existing infrastructure built for diesel trains into zero-emissions railways without expansive and expensive rail electrification. Our work with Alstom to power the Coradia iLint demonstrates that we are committed, capable, and ready to help decarbonize traditionally hard-to-abate industries and help drive the hydrogen economy in Europe."

The Coradia iLint trains were developed by Alstom as an alternative to conventional diesel trains. They are powered by Cummins fuel cell systems that convert hydrogen fuel into energy and turn existing, non-electrified infrastructure into zero-emission rail lines. The systems allow the train to emit only steam and condensed water while in service and operate with low noise levels that improve both operator and passenger comfort.

Cummins and Alstom launched the first hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint train in Germany in 2018. The Coradia iLint has also been successfully tested in Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. The trains based in Lower Saxony will be the first entire fleet in passenger operation owned by Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG). Cummins will provide an additional 54 fuel cell systems to Alstom for an order of 27 Coradia iLint trains that will be delivered to the Frankfurt metropolitan area.

The hydrogen fuel cell systems used in the trains are assembled at Cummins' Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems Production Center in Herten, Germany. The facility opened earlier this year, enabling accelerated adoption of hydrogen technologies across Europe and globally. 

Author : Debi Dash
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