Stadler-Rail wins the contract for the Zillertal Railway for the new hydrogen-powered trains!

Posted on Friday May 18th, 2018

As announced in the local press by the technology board of the Zillertal Railway, the Swiss company Stadler Rail wins the tender for the delivery of the new hydrogen-powered trains.

By 2020, the first railcar will go into trial operation. The overall project of converting the Zillertal Railway to hydrogen operation is estimated at EUR 80 million. The hydrogen is produced locally with electrolysers, which are powered by local hydroelectric power – CO2 neutral. From 2022 on the scheduled operation should be started.

Stadler Rail was obviously the only provider who has passed the preselection. Alstom has not offered due to lack of capacity. At a Chinese supplier – CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd.? – there were qualitative concerns.

Stadler Rail was thus able to demonstrate its unique competence in the field of narrow gauge railways – the Zillertal Railway has a track width of 760mm – and application-specific solutions in small batches and once again impressively confirm his worldwide market leadership. References existed with the conventional electric train units with overhead line for the Lower Austrian Mariazellerbahn in the same gauge at the end of 2012.

With the order of the Zillertal Railway, Stadler Rail is investing in the new and innovative technology of the electric rail drive with on-board power supply with hydrogen fuel cells.

This on the background of the upcoming large tenders for diesel replacement in DE (Frankfurt Taunusbahnen, Bavaria, etc.), NL, NO, DK; the announcement by England to convert the entire rail diesel network to hydrogen operation by 2040 and the Canadian plans to convert to hydrogen service for the GO suburban trains in Toronto. More project announcements from around the world are likely to follow.

When does Stadler Rail introduce the hydrogen version of the FLIRT 160 and 200 and the KISS? Even in (rail track-)city traffic, there are likely to be opportunities for hydrogen technology in the near future.

The entrepreneurial decision of Stadler Rail for “Future Hydrogen” deserves respect!