ÖBB test out the new hydrogen train during its first ever passenger service.
ÖBB test operation with passengers successfully completed
Alternative drive technologies are the only way to the climate-friendly mobility of the future. This is why ÖBB were testing a hydrogen train made by Alstom in regular passenger service.
The train had to prove its worth in particular on secondary lines that are not intended for electrification. From 12 September until 26 November, the hydrogen train was tested 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. After these three months of testing, ÖBB are very satisfied with the hydrogen train and the test run.
Passengers did not only benefit from safe but also from clean technology during the trial operation: In contrast to a diesel 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.
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 was now being put through its paces for the first time - and the train completed these routes with ease.
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 were testing a complete system including vehicle maintenance and hydrogen supply.
The project was supported by Klima- und Energiefonds and Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. VERBUND AG was responsible for the green certification of the hydrogen used. A scientific study by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and HyCentA will provide a basis for decision-making concerning the next steps in the coming months.