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Hydrogen-powered trains to run in Germany

LONDON: Germany has announced plans to test a hydrogen-powered train with a range of more than 370 miles.

The hydrogen-powered train is a technology that promises to reduce CO2 emissions and help make 1,300 diesel units obsolete. The first hydrogen train will be tested in 2024, according to a report and the train can be recharged in just 15 minutes.

Leading German firm Siemens in a joint statement that tests of a train equipped with a new hydrogen drive will commence in 2024 and run for one year. The two-car train will have a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 miles per hour) and it can be recharged in just 15 minutes.

The train, which is called the Mireo Plus H, will run between three cities in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, replacing a conventional diesel-powered unit running on the route. The new hydrogen drive will save around 330 tons of CO2 a year, the companies said.

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“Hydrogen drives are an advanced, emission-free form of propulsion that will help decarbonize rail transport and make a significant contribution toward achieving our climate targets,” Siemens (SIEGY) Mobility CEO Michael Peter said in a statement.

Deutsche Bahn operates around 1,300 diesel trains in regional service, and roughly 40% of its 33,000 kilometer (20,500 mile) rail network has not yet been electrified meaning trains can’t run using overhead power lines. The company plans to eliminate diesel trains from its network by 2050.