Under the agreement, KRRI and Hyundai will exchange technologies and cooperate on new research projects with the intention of accelerating the introduction of hydrogen-powered trains, locomotives and LRVs into the consumer market. 

The agreement is intended to expand the resources and capabilities of the two organisations’ hydrogen rail research projects. 

KRRI is currently working to develop a hydrogen train propulsion system that can run up to 600km on a single charge at a maximum speed of 110km/h, which it announced in January 2019. The work is being carried out by a KRRI-led research group of seven organisations, which includes Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) and Woojin Industrial Systems. 

KRRI also signed a cooperation agreement with the Korean province of Gangwon to support the development of hydrogen rail infrastructure in the region on October 10. The agreement outlines greater cooperation between the provincial government and KRRI, including for the development of liquid hydrogen-powered trains, hydrogen production and refilling technology, as well as plans to reinstate the 110.9km Donghae Bukbu line between Gangneung and the North Korean border for use by hydrogen-powered rolling stock. 

Hyundai-Rotem announced plans to enter the hydrogen rail market through the development of a hydrogen-powered LRV in June. A prototype of the LRV is scheduled for completion in 2021, and will be produced and tested in the Ulsan, as per the details of another MoU signed by Hyundai and the city on August 13.  

Hyundai’s LRV project follows the launch of its hydrogen-powered Nexo automobile in 2018, which employs similar technology.