Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video

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Bremervorde: Germany on Monday rolled out the world's first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
The first hydrogen-powered train, by French train maker Alstom, arrives at the station in Bremervoerde, Germany. AFP

Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, began running a 100-kilometre route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany - a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains began running a 100-kilometre route in northern Germany. AFP

"The world's first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production," Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said at an unveiling ceremony in Bremervoerde, the station where the trains will be refuelled with hydrogen.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
The stretch between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude used to be plied by diesel trains. AFP

Alstom has said it plans to deliver another 14 of the zero-emissions trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021, with other German states also expressing an interest.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
CEO of French train maker Alstom, Henri Poupart-Lafarge in front of Alstom's first hydrogen-powered train. AFP

Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Alstom has said it plans to deliver another 14 of the zero-emissions trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021. AFP

Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. AFP

The Coradia iLint trains can run for around 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge inside the hydrogen powered train. AFP

Alstom is betting on the technology as a greener, quieter alternative to diesel on non-electrified railway lines - an attractive prospect to many German cities scrambling to combat air pollution.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. AFP

"Sure, buying a hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train, but it is cheaper to run," Stefan Schrank, the project's manager at Alstom, told AFP.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train. AFP

Other countries are also looking into hydrogen trains, Alstom said, including Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Canada.

Germany rolls out world's first hydrogen train | Video
The Coradia iLint trains can run for around 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen. AFP

In France, the government has already said it wants the first hydrogen train to be on the rails by 2022.

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