Unprecedented Hydrogen Train Service Commences in Northern Germany

October 2022

The northern German regional state of Lower Saxony is home to a world first: a completely hydrogen-driven passenger rail service. The fourteen H2 trains on the line shuttle between the northern German cities of Cuxhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude replaced fifteen diesel-powered ones.

It’s part of a larger drive to decarbonize transportation in the region.

“We are proud to be the world’s first operator of hydrogen trains in scheduled passenger transport,” said Christoph Grimm, managing director of regional rail operator Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser (EVB).

The Coradia iLint trains are made by French manufacturer Alstom. The project is receiving EUR 85 million in funds from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Transport. The national German government also contributed EUR 8.4 million to the costs of the vehicles and EUR 4.3 million for a hydrogen filling station in Bremervörde as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation scheme.

The network will save 1.6 million liters of diesel a year.

The idea is likely to catch on in many places in Germany. Alstom has already been commissioned to supply 27 Coradia iLint trains for use in the Frankfurt region in western Germany.

© EVB/Sabrina Adeline Nagel