[IT] Hydrogen trains for Italy: Alstom and Snam common development

Although Alstom’s Coradia Lint DMUs are a great commercial success with over 1,000 units sold, the hydrogen version – the iLint – has so far only made it to the presentation and evaluation phase. But Alstom keeps pushing it. It has bagged one major order, the iLint successfully completed test operations on the Weser-Elbe-Netz and the train went to Austria and the Netherlands. The Breeze project for the UK is on the way and the Polyvalent HMU will come to France. Now there is a newly established cooperation with Italian company Snam, which could add Italy on the hydrogen trains map in Europe.

On 04.06.2020, Alstom and Snam, the energy infrastructure company, signed a five-year agreement aiming for the development of hydrogen multiple units (HMU) for Italy. Alstom has the technology ready, yet the hydrogen operation has several obstacles that Railcolor News wrote about earlier this year.

The iLint HMU on tests near Apfelwiese (AT), Eichberg am Semmering 04.12.2019 Photo: Christopher Kavassy

The new agreement should overcome the hydrogen hurdles related to infrastructure. Snam should take care of the infrastructure for production, transport of fuel, and the refueling itself.

“We believe in hydrogen. This is the reason why we have signed a partnership with Snam. Coradia iLint, the first hydrogen powered train, is already in passenger service between the towns of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehudehe in Germany. We hope that Coradia ILint hydrogen trains will soon become a reality in Italy, too. Thanks to a partner like Snam we will be able to respond to the market by offering a full-fledged solution” Michele Viale, Managing Director of Alstom Italy and Switzerland.

Such deals will not only enable decarbonization efforts in Europe. It could also decrease the dependency of Europe on current fossil fuels.

Hydrogen trains overview – the cooperation:

Hydrogen trains overview – the operation: