In the future, fuel-cell trains will operate on four regional train lines in Taunus. This would make rail traffic more sustainable – according to RMV, the world’s largest project of this kind.

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The hydrogen train project starts in December

Hessenschau from 11.14.2022

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From December 11 it should be ready – then “the world’s largest fleet of emission-free hydrogen trains will pass domestically through Hesse,” said Knut Ringat, managing director of the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV). In accordance with this preference, prominent names announced themselves to present the first car in the DB workshop in Frankfurt-Griesheim.

Among others, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wessing (FDP) came from Berlin. He described the new trains as “a real game-changer”. the new subnet TaunusIt consists of the following lines:

  • RB11 (Bad Soden – Sulzbach – Frankfurt am Main – Hochst – Kelkheim)
  • RB12 (Königstein – Kelkheim – Frankfurt-Höchst – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf)
  • RB15 (Brando Berndorf – Euzen – Friedrichsdorf – Bad Homburg – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf)
  • RB16 (Friedberg – Friedrichsdorf – Bad Homburg)

An environmentally friendly alternative to overhead electrical lines

Used railway cars replace old diesel vehicles in Hesse. In train rooftop fuel cells, hydrogen reacts cleanly with oxygen from the surrounding air. Heat and electricity for the engines and water vapor are produced as a waste product. However, the railways do not emit any carbon dioxide locally.

The necessary hydrogen comes from the factories of the industrial area, where “gray” hydrogen accumulates in large quantities as a waste product of chemical processes. With the support of the state of Hesse, an electrolysis plant will also be built there, which will use purchased green electricity to split water into “green” oxygen and hydrogen.

Foreign Minister Deutchendorf described the new technology as a milestone in sustainable mobility: It represents a climate-friendly alternative to roads where electrification by air lines makes no sense.

30 percent more than current trains

“Our goal is to extend the environmental advantage of buses and trains and to offer zero-emissions local mobility,” Ringnat said before the official presentation. passengers too From the generation of innovative vehicles The benefit: “Hydrogen trains offer more seats than previously used trains, are quieter, and offer free WiFi.”

From December, 27 trains on the four regional train lines in Taunus will gradually run. Manufacturer Alstom’s iLint fuel cell trains provide 160 seats per vehicle, thus approximately 30 percent more than vehicles currently in use. At rush hour, trains must be “doubled”, i.e. 320 seats are available.

The operator was then no longer the Hessian State Railway (HLB), but rather “Start”, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn. The company announced that the “start-up” wanted to take over the train crew formerly used by HLB “while maintaining previous employment standards” and on the basis of Hessian public procurement and tariff law. In order to ensure operation in the Taunus network until the hydrogen trains are fully delivered, HLB will temporarily continue to operate lines RB11 and RB16 until the end of April.

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