At the end of January, Portuguese authorities informed that work on the country’s first hydrogen train had already started. The project involves the modernization of diesel-powered locomotives, and equipping them with hydrogen fuel-cells.
The H2Rail project was officially announced on January 25th, being a joint initiative of Combois de Portugal (the state-owned railway company) in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, the Portuguese Association for the Promotion of Hydrogen and two private companies – CaetanoBus and NomadTech.
The aim of the project is to replace diesel locomotives running on non-electrified lines.
The project is divided into six different stages with a total value of approximately EUR 275 million. The currently secured funds for the investment amount to EUR 34.6 million. The rest of the funds are to be obtained from the European funds. The grant application has already been submitted.
According to preliminary assumptions, the testing phase on one of the lines operated by CP could begin as early as 2023. If the tests are successful, the project will be extended to more routes.
It is another initiative of one of the European Union Member States related to the use of hydrogen in rail transport. Earlier, we informed about the positive result of the tests of the Dutch company Alstom, whose trains will operate on local domestic connections.