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Hydrogen trains in the Netherlands. Yes!
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Hydrogen trains in the Netherlands. Yes!
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First hydrogen train in the Netherlands! A good idea?

The first Dutch train on hydrogen is coming soon. In the provinces of Groningen and Friesland there will be a test ride in 2018

The provinces Groningen, Friesland and the track management ProRail will keep a test with a train which uses hydrogen. The northern provinces in the Netherlands hope it will be a good and sustainable alternative for diesel trains which are now used between the cities Leeuwarden and Groningen

Most of the trains in the Netherlands are electric but in Friesland and Groningen it is different. On the railway track between Leeuwarden and Groningen and the 'slow tracks' along Roodeschool, Stavoren, Delfzijl en Nieuweschans is no electricity. The construction of the wiring would cost hundreds of millions. the investment in hydrogen is much cheaper and will evenly earns itself back.

Of course the diesel trains are polluting a lot and make a lot of noise. So the hydrogen train is a good alternative. By using hydrogen only hydrogen gas is produced as waste.

Safety requirements

The French train constructor Alstom already uses hydrogen power trains in the North of Germany. This Coradia iLint which is the name of the first powered hydrogen train in the world will also be used on the Dutch railway tracks. It is not exactly clear when the first train will start scheduled trips. First the Coradia iLint has to meet Dutch safety standards.

The hydrogen train is a great alternative for railway tracks lacking electricity says Wouter Wiersma, from the engineering firm Arcadis. Commissioned by Friesland and Groningen, Arcadis did research about the feasibility of the project. The judgement was positive. Trains on hydrogen is unusually but if railway track wiring lacks it's a great solution.

If Friesland and Groningen are serious in using hydrogen trains they have to start building hydrogen storage tanks. To store hydrogen at railway stations and trains is still an issue of concern. Hydrogen is very flammable. therefore like with hydrogen cars and busses there are very strict safety standards.

Friesland and Groningen depend with the test from the public transport organisation; Arriva. They own the concession for the railway track in the north and they have to give temporary permission for the 'green' train. Arriva is in favour of the plan. With all stakeholders we are looking at the possibilities. Arriva is happy with the provincial ambitions.

Door: Dion Mebius 12 oktober 2017, 02:00

 

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