The agreement involves Alstom, Arriva, which operates regional services in the north of the Netherlands, energy supplier Engie, the province of Groningen and Dutch infrastructure manager Prorail.

The tests will be carried out during a two-week period in the first quarter of 2020 on the Groningen – Leeuwarden line, which has maximum speed of 140km/h. The objective is to establish whether hydrogen propulsion is appropriate to achieve zero emission rail transport on non-electrified regional lines in the north of the Netherlands.

The trials have three goals:

  • testing the performance of the hydrogen fuel cell train
  • testing the refuelling of the train with hydrogen within the current timetable, and
  • investigating the requirements and conditions to obtain authorisation to introduce hydrogen trains in regular passenger train operation in the north of the Netherlands.