With the rising awareness about saving our earth and keeping it green, while saving its resources, Germany seems to have taken a lead. Germany has launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, pioneering the need for more expensive but environmentally-friend trains in a world that currently runs on diesel trains.
French TVG-maker Alstom was the mastermind organisation behind the two bright Coradia iLint trains, which ran a 100 kilometre stretch (62 miles approximately) between the areas of Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde, Cuxhaven and Buxtehude – all situated in Northern Germany and a stretch that is normally occupied by diesel trains.
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These hydrogen-powered trains work with fuel cells that produce electricity due to a combination of oxygen and hydrogen, a chemical reaction that releases steam and water as its only emissions. The excess energy produced will be stored in lithium batteries that are present in the train itself. Coming to the Coradia iLint trains, they can run for a distance of 1,000 kilometres (approximately 600 miles) on just one tank of hydrogen, which is similar to the diesel trains – yet at little to no environmental pollution.
According to news reports, Alstom CEO Henri Popart-Lafarge has assured that this is the first hydrogen-powered train to enter the commercial production, and is ready to serial production. There has been an unveiling ceremony in Bremervoede, which is the station where all the trains would be refuelled with hydrogen power as and when required. The organisation has promised that it reveals fourteen more hydrogen-power and zero-emission trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021, and many other German states are intrigued to launch the same in their own cities. Germany has been struggling with the adverse effects of air pollution since quite some time, and a hydrogen-powered train running on non-electrified railway lines could improve matters to a great deal.
Stefan Schrank, the project manager of Alstom has said that, though hydrogen-powered is relatively much costlier than the regular diesel trains, the latter would be much cheaper to run and a much better option for the environment at large.
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Following Germany’s example, several other European countries such as Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Britain and even Canada are eager to experiment with the hydrogen-powered train. In fact, the French government wishes to roll out the first hydrogen-powered trains in France by 2022. Although it may take India a long time to catch up, we can always expect our country to take inspiration and gear up for it sometime soon and save our already dipping resource levels.