Emission of carbon dioxide beyond a certain limit has been held responsible for global warming and resultant climate change. Means of transport are considered among the worst pollutants for the volume of carbon dioxide that they deposit in the atmosphere every year. Trains are relatively less pollutant compared to buses, cars and similar diesel-powered vehicles. Still, trains release huge amount of carbon dioxide.
Now for the first time in the world, a pollution-free train has been rolled out. This train runs on
hydrogen power. They have batteries made up of lithium-ion, those similar to used in the mobile phones
and many home appliances.
The hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a chemical reaction
involving hydrogen molecules. As exhaust, the trains emit steam and water droplets only. There is no
carbon dioxide gas in the emissions from the train.
Called the Coradia iLint trains, its manufacturer Alstom claims that they can run for around 1,000
kilometres on a single tank of hydrogen. The durability of the fuel is much similar to the range of
diesel trains. The excess energy is stored in lithium-ion batteries on-board the train.
World’s first hydrogen train was rolled out for passengers’ transport on Sunday in Germany. The country
will be rolling out 14 more such trains in near future. Demand for hydrogen trains, Alstom says, have
come from other countries also including the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Canada.
Buying hydrogen trains is expensive in comparison to diesel locomotives but its operation in the long
run would be cheaper given the rechargeable nature of the lithium-ion batteries. Each train costs over
$ 7 million. These hydrogen trains are capable of running at a speed of 140 km per hour. This is a
competitive speed for a diesel and an electric-power train.