China’s first hydrogen passenger train completes tests, with similar ranges and speeds to European models




CRRC claims world-leading status on energy efficiency for a fuel-cell train


Chinese state-owned train manufacturer CRRC has completed tests of the country’s first passenger train run on hydrogen fuel cells.


Originally unveiled in May last year, the urban train is designed to operate between non-electrified sections of city railways, with a maximum cruising range of 1,000km and a top speed of 160km per hour — similar to European-made H2 trains that are already on the market.


German technology firm Siemens’ Mireo Plus H train also has a maximum speed of 160km/h, with its three-car unit designed for ranges between 800km and 1,000km.


French manufacturer Alstom’s Coradia iLint also has a maximum specified range of 1,000km, although it had in 2022 demonstrated a 1,175km run without refuelling. However, its top speed is slightly lower at 140km/h.


Swiss-based Stadler’s FLIRT H2 trains fall behind the pack, with a maximum range of 460km and top speed of 127km/h.


Meanwhile, Spain’s Talgo is leading a consortium to develop a hydrogen-electric hybrid train that would reach speeds of more than 250km/h.


However, CRRC claims that its train is world-leading when it comes to energy efficiency, with test data showing an average energy consumption of 5kWh/km.


The train also features automatic driving functions, such as to start, stop and return to the warehouse, although it is unclear if these were tested by CRRC.


The state-owned manufacturer put its first hydrogen fuel-cell locomotive into operation in 2021, to be used for shunting at railways, and last year started road testing an autonomous fuel-cell tram in Malaysia.



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