The world’s first hydrogen-powered trains have gone into service in Germany. The two trains are part of a service running along a 62-mile track in the country. The trains have been created by a French company called Alstom and they are running on a route that was previously used by diesel locomotives.
The hydrogen-powered trains are no slouch either. They are capable of hitting a top speed of 87 miles per hour and have a 600 mile range. This allows them to make nine trips on a single tank. The trains use fuel cells that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. That electricity is stored on board in batteries for use later.
These trains are more expensive than their diesel counterparts but they are cheaper to run and also help minimize the emissions from fossil fuel-based locomotives as they only emit steam and water. That’s one of the main reasons why the country has decided to make the shift to hydrogen-powered trains.
Germany is actually planning to expand the use of hydrogen-powered trains in the coming years. Alstom has plans to make another 14 hydrogen trains for Germany by 2021. France will be using these trains as well, its first hydrogen train is expected to enter service by 2022.