The 2021 European Railway Award was presented to the iLINT project. Resulting from a highly fruitful collaboration between Alstom and the public transport authority of Lower Saxony (LNVG), the Coradia iLINT is the world’s first passenger train for mainline operation powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The project proves that alternative technologies to diesel can offer the same level of performance without generating greenhouse gasses. Is it a shining demonstration that a completely emission-free railway system is possible, enabling rail to remain the most environmentally-friendly land transport mode.
The project specifically targeted low-density networks where previously, due to the high deployment and maintenance costs of traditional electrification, diesel was the only propulsion technology available for rail transport. After a successful pilot, LNVG will now replace its diesel fleet with one completely composed of fuel cell trains starting in 2022. Moreover, other operators and networks across the world are following in their footsteps with new confidence in fuel cell technology. As such, the project achieved a breakthrough in the pursuit of fully decarbonised rail transport.
Carmen Schwabl, Managing Director of LNVG, introduced the highlights of this world premiere in passenger service in a short video played during the ceremony.