Alstom will supply the trains, and has a €360m share of the contract. The order also includes the supply of hydrogen, maintenance and the provision of reserve capacity for the next 25 years. Alstom will supply the hydrogen in cooperation with Infraserv Höchst, with the refuelling station to be located at the Höchst industrial park in Frankfurt.

“The purchase of 27 trains is a lighthouse project for fuel cell mobility, about which I’m very pleased,” says parliamentary state secretary of the German Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr Enak Ferlemann. “The federal government supports this investment in climate-friendly mobility by assuming 40% of the additional vehicle costs incurred in comparison with diesel vehicles, as well as by providing proportional support for the hydrogen filling station. The project can serve as a model for the German Transport Ministry. We hope that many other projects in Germany will follow this example.”

A lack of electrification of the Hessen network means there is still a large proportion of diesel trains operating in the state, Hessen’s minister of transport, Mr Tarek Al-Wazir, says.

“In Hessen, transport is responsible for one third of greenhouse gas emissions,” he says. “Steam instead of diesel soot is therefore an exciting approach.”

The new fuel cell trains will replace DMUs on four lines:

  • RB11 Frankfurt-Höchst - Bad Soden
  • RB12 Frankfurt - Königstein
  • RB15 Frankfurt - Bad Homburg - Brandoberndorf, and
  • RB16 Friedrichsdorf - Friedberg.

The trains will be equipped with comprehensive passenger information systems including monitors with real-time information. They will also have space for bicycles, wheelchairs and pushchairs and will offer complimentary Wi-Fi. The new trains will provide 160 seats, increasing capacity by up to 40%.

The first two Coradia iLint trains have already been in regular passenger service in the Elbe-Weser network in Lower Saxony since September 2018, and the Local Transport Authority of Lower Saxony (LNVG) plans to operate 14 Coradia iLint trains on the network from 2021.

“This award sets two records: with the commissioning of the new vehicles in 2022, RMV will have the world's largest fleet of fuel cell trains in passenger transport and it is the largest order in the history of our subsidiary Fahma," says RMV managing director, Prof Knut Ringat.

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