ÖBB test out the new hydrogen train during its first ever passenger service.
Currently no test operation
The hydrogen train is currently being subjected to a number of technical tests and will therefore not be used by passengers for the time being.
Alternative drive technologies are the only way to the climate-friendly mobility of the future. This is why ÖBB is taking part in the world’s first hydrogen train project and is testing a hydrogen multiple-unit train made by Alstom in regular passenger service. The train must prove its worth in particular on secondary lines that are not intended for electrification. The hydrogen train will start operating in southern parts of Lower Austria on the inner and outer Aspangbahn railway line as well as on the line between Wiener Neustadt and Puchberg or Gutenstein. The test phase is scheduled to run until at least the end of November 2020.
Passengers will benefit not only from safe but also from clean technology during the trial operation: In contrast to a diesel multiple-unit train, the hydrogen train produces no local CO₂ emissions when operated. Furthermore, the hydrogen train is significantly quieter in operation than the diesel multiple-unit trains that normally run on the lines. In the trial operation alone, around 60 tonnes of CO₂ can be saved.
Tried and tested on geographically demanding routes
Up to now, hydrogen trains have mainly been used on flat routes in Northern Germany and the Netherlands. By testing on geographically demanding, alpine routes in the southern parts of Lower Austria, the hydrogen train is now being put through its paces for the first time.
A mobile hydrogen filling station was also built on ÖBB premises in Wiener Neustadt during the test phase - this means that, in addition to passenger operation, ÖBB is testing a complete system including vehicle maintenance and hydrogen supply.
The project is supported by the Climate and Energy Fund and VERBUND AG is responsible for the green certification of the hydrogen used. By cooperating with the scientific partners Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and HyCentA, hydrogen technology will also be put under the microscope from various scientific perspectives in order to identify future research and development needs.