The system was presented at the First Hydrogen Conference for the Socioeconomic Development of the Iberian Southwest (SOI H2), held in Don Benito, Badajoz, which was attended by Talgo’s director of innovation, Mr Emilio Garcia.

The system, which Talgo says is the first of its kind to be produced in Spain, will be equipped in future generations of Talgo’s Vittal commuter train platform, and is planned to begin validation testing from the fourth quarter of 2021. However, Talgo says that the system is designed to be easily fitted to a range of other rail vehicles.

The system employs hydrogen fuel cells to power the train’s traction motors, and is supported by auxiliary batteries designed to boost acceleration speeds, and which are recharged through regenerative braking.

Talgo says that the propulsion system can be used as an efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to full electrification for lines on which the upgrade is deemed too cost-inefficient or too disruptive.