Stadler and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) have signed the first contract to supply a hydrogen-powered train to run in the United States. SBCTA awarded the contract with an option to order four more vehicles in the future. The FLIRT H2 train is planned for passenger service in 2024.
Stadler FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) is a passenger multiple unit (MU) trainset. The baseline FLIRT is an electric MU articulated trainset that can come in units of two to twelve cars with two to six motorized axles.
The hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 vehicle is planned to be introduced in 2024 as part of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project (Arrow), a nine-mile connector between Redlands and San Bernardino’s Metrolink station.
Rendering of the SBCTA Arrow
The ordered vehicle consists of two cars with a power pack in between. This holds the fuel cells and the hydrogen tanks. The train is expected to have seating space for 108 passengers and in addition generous standing room. The FLIRT H2 is projected to transport passengers with a maximum speed of up to 79 mph (130 km/h).
Stadler and SBCTA started their partnership in 2017, when SBCTA ordered three diesel electric multiple unit (DMU) FLIRT trains.
International rail vehicle construction company Stadler is headquartered in Bussnang in Eastern Switzerland. Founded in 1942, it has a workforce of around 10,500 based in various production and more than 40 service locations. Stadler provides a comprehensive range of products in the heavy and urban transport segments: High-speed trains, intercity trains, regional and commuter heavy rail trains, underground trains, tram trains and trams.
Stadler also manufactures main-line locomotives, shunting locomotives and passenger carriages, including the most powerful diesel-electric locomotive in Europe. It is the world’s leading manufacturer in the rack-and-pinion rail vehicle industry.
Serving more than 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County, the SBCTA is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. The SBCTA administers Measure I, the half-cent transportation sales tax approved by county voters in 1989, and supports freeway construction projects, regional and local road improvements, train and bus transportation, railroad crossings, call boxes, ridesharing, congestion management efforts, and long-term planning studies.