Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM) has just placed a €160 million ($191.2 million) order for six hydrogen-fuel cell trains from Alstrom, the French rail transport tech giant. These will be the first-ever hydrogen trains in Italy, but they won’t be the last as it seems since FNM has added an option for another eight trains to be ordered in the next three years.
The ordered train model is called “Coradia iLint”, and it was first presented in 2016 during the ‘InnoTrans’ event in Berlin. The new train entered its first commercial service in Germany by 2018, so it has been tested in real-world operation for two years already. In fact, the iLint has already covered 180,000 kilometers in the Lower Saxony area.
“Coradia iLint” is completely zero-emission, leaving only steam and condensed water behind it. As for noise, this is kept at extremely low levels too. It can operate on non-electrified lines so it’s versatile and doesn’t require any investment for the modernization of the railway infrastructure.
The trains will be manufactured and certified by Alstom in Italy, at the Savigliano site which lies about 150 km from the city of Milan. The traction systems and the auxiliary components will be manufactured in Sesto San Giovanni, while the on-board signalling systems will be made in the Bologna site.
Apart from the Germans and the Italians, the Austrian ÖBB has also placed an order for the “Coradia iLint”, so Alstom’s new hydrogen train is set to become a pan-European thing. This proves just how versatile it is, as it’s capable of covering a wide range of different routes.
The regional version can reach speeds of 160 km/h, while the intercity version can go up to 200 km/h. And finally, the iLint is easy and inexpensive to maintain, is light because it’s made out of modern materials, and it offers a range of customization options to bring it to the exact specifications needed in each country.