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Coradia Polyvalent H2 train, Source: Alstom

SNCF orders first hydrogen trains in France

SNCF orders first hydrogen trains in France

Four French regions have placed the order in a historic effort to reduce carbon emissions

The French public railways company has made the first purchase of hydrogen trains in France, as informed in a press release. SNCF on behalf of four regions has ordered 12 dual-mode electric-hydrogen trains from Alstom, for a total of almost 190 million euros.

The purchase marks a historic step in railway development in France and serves the goals of reducing carbon and noise emissions, as outlined in the national hydrogen plan from 2018. What is more, several other regions have already shown interest in investing in this technology for their railway networks, the company explained.

Hydrogen trains – a revolution in railway passenger transport in France

The regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie through the public railway operator SNCF have signed the first order of dual mode electric-hydrogen trains in France. Together they purchased 12 vehicles (plus two optional trainsets) from the Coradia Polyvalent series for Régiolis.

The trains have an autonomy of up to 600 km on sections of non-electrified railway. Each of them has four cars, 72 metres of length with a total capacity of 218 seats and the same dynamic performance and level of comfort as the dual mode electric-diesel version.

Coradia Polyvalent has made itself a name in France over the last decade. Before the first purchase of hydrogen trains, Alstom has provided over 400 dual mode electric-thermal and full-electric Coradia Polyvalent trains to the French regional train networks.

Moreover, apart from sustainability in travel, this cooperation creates employment. According to Alstom, their development and manufacture have ensured 2000 jobs at a total of 6 sites in France.

Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom France commented that they were the first rail company in the world to launch a hydrogen train onto the market and that the latest purchase by French region serves their objectives to become number one in the green and smart mobility market.

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister Delegate for Transport, French Ministry of the Ecological Transition, as quoted in a press release, commented that “France has everything it needs to become a hydrogen champion: the French government is fully committed to turning this ambition into reality. We will be covering 47 million euros of development costs for France’s first regional hydrogen-powered train. I am delighted that this support has enabled the four partner regions to confirm their order for the first 14 trains.”

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