Vive la France avec ses trains à hydrogène

August 15, 2021
Discover the latest developments in France's hydrogen train technology and its impact on the rail industry. Stay up to date with RailDiary's blog.

Vive la France avec ses trains à hydrogène

(Long live France with its hydrogen trains)

Some areas of France are bonding trains with Hydrogen, which honestly sounds like a lot of fun.

The four regions signed their order with Alstom in a contract worth over 190 million euros, for dual mode electric-hydrogen trains to serve the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie.

The order itself (the first in France for Alstom) is for a total of 12 dual-mode electric-hydrogen trains from Alstom’s Coradia Polyvalent range, which have four cars and run in 72m of length, easily reaching the maximum speeds of 160 km/h, while passengers can sit in comfort on the 218 seats per train. The model will also have an autonomous range of up to 600km along non-electrified track, which puts the model easily on par with the electric-diesel models.

The move to push forward with Hydrogen is a smart one (and not just because other elements are denser), but with the SNCF launching the PlaneTER campaign to reduce the environmental impact of TER regional express trains, if produced appropriately, the hydrogen for these trains could add a hefty contribution in reducing carbon emissions.

And all going well, other regions in France could take part in the subsequent phase of the project, having already logged their interest.

France is perfectly primed to become a hydrogen champion.

With Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the Minister Delegate for Transport, French Ministry of the Ecological Transition explaining:

“…the French government is fully committed to turning this ambition into reality. We will be covering 47 million euros of development costs for France’s first regional hydrogen-powered train. I am delighted that this support has enabled the four partner regions to confirm their order for the first 14 trains…”

Given that the European Union will invest $430 billion in green hydrogen by 2030 to help achieve the goals of its Green Deal, the development of the hydrogen sector in transport is not only good for boosting employment. It also makes fantastic use of the most abundant element in the known universe.

The environmental benefits from using Green Hydrogen are astounding. It can be produced using excess renewable energy, and stored for an incredibly long time.

It’s also 3x more effective than fossil fuels pound for pound, making it (you guessed it) three times more efficient!

To make it, all that’s needed is water and electricity, which means no pesky fossil fuels, damage to the environment or pollutants for people and animals to inhale.

It’s moves like this from France that will contribute to not only making the areas in which they operate climate neutral, but providing a case study for more and more regions, providers and countries, to switch to these new and emerging technologies, leading not only to a better, greener environment.

Plus a more efficient, and conscious form of transport choice for passengers too.

Vive la France avec ses trains à hydrogène

Oliver Donohue

Snr Account Manager

Snr Account Manager

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