The project is part of the ministry’s National Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme, which is coordinated by the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (Now), and will continue work underway between Siemens, RWTH Aachen and Ballard Power Systems, a Canadian manufacturer of fuel cells.

Siemens and Ballard announced a collaborative project to develop fuel cell drive system with enhanced lifecycle, power density performance and improved efficiency for Siemens’ Mireo train platform in November.

Siemens says the long-term goal of the cooperation is to develop a modular and scalable traction system based on fuel cell technology. The train will be able to operate using battery and electric traction, and on non-electrified lines. The objective is to have the fuel cell technology ready for service by 2021.

“Our cooperation with Ballard marks a decisive step to replace diesel-powered rail vehicles with emission-free vehicles in order to provide sustainable and climate-friendly mobility over the long-term,” says Ms Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

For more on Ballard Power Systems' work to develop hydrogen fuel cells for the rail market, see the January issue of IRJ, p13, or click here.