Infraserv Höchst builds hydrogen refueling station for trains at Industriepark Höchst
World’s largest hydrogen-powered train fleet to replace diesel traction units on four regional train lines in the Taunus region starting in 2022
It wasn’t long ago that fahma, a subsidiary of the Rhine-Main Regional Transit Authority (RMV), invited bids to provide 27 fuel cell-powered trains. It just announced the winner: French manufacturer Alstom, who will supply Coradia iLint 54 vehicles in time for the 2022 route schedule to be replaced by the 2023 timetable. In addition to the trains, the contract also includes providing hydrogen, maintenance and reserve capacity for the next 25 years. Alstom will be supplying the hydrogen in cooperation with Infraserv Höchst. The filling station will be located at Industriepark Höchst.
Joachim Kreysing, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst, is delighted that the park will be playing a pivotal role in the evolution of this cutting-edge technology: “With its current hydrogen infrastructure, Industriepark Höchst is the perfect place to build a filling station for fuel cell-powered vehicles. A hydrogen filling station for trains, built alongside our current refueling infrastructure for buses and trucks, fits in seamlessly with our strategy of developing ever-more innovative energy delivery solutions based on clean sources of power.”
“I’m thrilled by the purchase of these 27 vehicles, which serves as a flagship project for fuel cell-powered transportation,” said Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. “The federal government is supporting this investment in climate-friendly transportation by partially subsidizing the hydrogen refueling station and covering 40 percent of the extra costs of buying these vehicles versus diesel engines. This project is a model for the future, and we hope it is the first of many more projects like it in Germany.”
World’s largest fuel cell-powered train fleet
“Many of the trains in the state of Hesse are still diesel-powered because they run on tracks without overhead lines. However, fuel cells are another readily feasible alternative to electrification,” said Hessian Transportation Minister Tarek Al-Wazir. “One-third of Hesse’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. That’s why we are excited that water vapor will be replacing diesel soot. We’ll continue actively supporting the project and doing everything we can to ensure the rail infrastructure is expeditiously modified for the hydrogen refueling station in Höchst.”
“This contract sets two records in one fell swoop. First, once the new vehicles enter into service in 2022, RMV will have the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell trains in passenger service. Second, it’s the largest contract in the history of our subsidiary fahma,” said RMV Managing Director Knut Ringat. “After having rolled out electric trains, e-buses and hydrogen-powered buses, we’ll be giving our passengers another way to travel emission-free. I’m very proud of this milestone, which brings us a huge step closer to a world of non-polluting transportation.”
The new fuel cell-powered vehicles will replace the old diesel-powered trains on routes RB11 (Frankfurt-Höchst – Bad Soden), RB12 (Frankfurt – Königstein), RB15 (Frankfurt – Bad Homburg – Brandoberndorf) and RB16 (Friedrichsdorf – Friedberg). The overall contract is worth around EUR 600 million. The new units have 160 seats apiece, which will increase the route capacity in the Taunus portion of the rail network by up to 40 percent, particularly on commuter trains.
World’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train
The Coradia iLint is the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell; the cell generates the electric power that moves the vehicle. The train runs as silently as a light rail vehicle and generates no local emissions other than water vapor and condensed water. It also features several innovations: clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries and smart management of propulsion power and available energy in conjunction with a driver assistance system for conductors. Developed specifically for non-electrified routes, the iLint enables clean, sustainable rail operations without sacrificing high performance or economic efficiency.