Ballard to power fuel cell train in European trial, ahead of 2023 launch

Ballard Power Systems has signed an Equipment Supply Agreement to provide 8 of its 70-kW FCmoveTM-HD fuel cell modules to Talgo S.A., for trials of its Talgo Vittal-One commuter and regional passenger train. Talgo plans to conduct their demonstration in early 2022 in Spain, with expected commercialization in 2023.

"Green hydrogen is no longer the future, it is a reality. The implementation of hydrogen trains, such as the one Talgo is developing, will improve mobility and have a positive impact on the environment by replacing diesel technology," said Emilio Garcia, Talgo Innovation Director. "It will allow us to make the most of the non-electrified railways in many countries, while reducing the carbon footprint."  

The modular system being designed by Talgo is intended for installation on all types of passenger trains, as well as in upgrades or retrofits from diesel to hydrogen power. The innovative system utilizes hydrogen and fuel cells for propulsion, complemented by batteries that assist the train from a standing start and take advantage of the braking system for recharging. Hydrogen technology is an appropriate solution for heavy transport applications such as trains, where railway lines do not currently have catenary electrification systems and depend on diesel engines.