World’s first zero-emission train was unveiled by Alstom, a leading producer of trains, at InnoTrans 2016 which took place between 20-23 September 2016.
Named the ‘Coradia iLint’, the train is CO2-emission-free and powered by a Hydrogen fuel cell which is stored in a hydrogen fuel tank on the roof of the train. It has been developed as an alternative to diesel-powered rails and only emits steam and condensed water instead of the pollutants like the greenhouse gases and operates with a decreased level of noise.
The ‘hydrail’ technology has been under development for the last 25 years with the engineers instead focusing on freight trains. But since 2014, the aim has been to develop a new generation of emission-free trains equipped with fuel cell drive. One fuel tank of ‘hydrail’ allows it to travel between 600-800 kilometres.
“Alstom is proud to launch a breakthrough innovation in the field of clean transportation which will complete its Coradia range of regional trains. It shows our ability to work in close collaboration with our customers and develop a train in only two years,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom’s chairman and CEO.
More than 2,400 Coradia range of modular regional trains have been sold worldwide by Alstom. Diesel trains might even be completely replaced by Hydrogen trains with time.
In an age of industrial prosperity, humanity has started to ignore the environment completely. Yes, progress is important, but not if it comes at the cost of destroying our ecosystem. It has taken us long enough to acknowledge the ways in which we hurt our environment.
The newfound motive of technology to be sustainable is commendable. From solar powered electricity to electrical cars, the world has started to find numerous ways in which we can move forward in terms of technology without taking a step back in terms the environment.
For a long period of time, sustainable fuel had only been an experiment with cars. To be able to fuel an entire train without the use of conventional fuel seemed to be a bit far-fetched until recently. But thanks to the strides taken in the field of technology, the use of sustainable fuel can now transcend to even trains.
I do hope such trains could be introduced in India one day but if you look at the current condition of Indian trains, hydrail only seems like a dream. Major changes in the system are required if Indian railway is to truly prosper.
There is no news yet on how costly the zero-emission train would be but it is understood to be costlier than the current generation of diesel trains.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.