On 26 February the first hydrogen train arrived in the Netherlands. The Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail led the train into the country from Germany via Oldenzaal and then ran it on track to its provisional parking facility in Leeuwarden.
Arrival in Leeuwarden
On Wednesday locomotives hauled the train on to Dutch track. The only route where it will be allowed to run independently is the test route between Leeuwarden and Groningen.
Night-Time Test Drives
The night-time test drives will take place between 27 February and 14 March. There will only be test crew on board at the time. DEKRA, a vehicle inspection agency based in Stuttgart, will be involved in these tests as the independent test organisation.
The test drives will give ProRail practical experience of the environmentally friendly hydrogen technology. This will be the first time a hydrogen train will operate in the Netherlands. ProRail wants to learn how the train can run the timetable, what its fuel consumption will be, and how the refuelling works.
Hydrogen technology is finding increasing applications, with its use on trains being just one. ProRail wants to learn whether hydrogen trains are a viable component of a carbon-neutral track by 2050. Besides being more environmentally friendly than their diesel counterparts, hydrogen trains are also quieter.
Arriva, the train operating company, backs up this ambition. The province of Groningen’s buses run on hydrogen and a number of garbage trucks in the municipality as well as sweepers also run on hydrogen. Therefore a hydrogen train is a logical next step.
The manufacturer of the hydrogen train is Alstom. Type Coradia iLint, it is already in regular passenger service in Germany along the Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde, Buxtehude line. The Netherlands is now the second country to run a hydrogen train on its tracks.
The parties involved in these tests are the province of Groningen as the client, which will carry out the test drives with ProRail. Arriva meanwhile is the operator. Engie supplied the hydrogen and was responsible for the tank installation. Alstom is the manufacturer of the hydrogen train and DEKRA is the independent test organisation.