Stadler Rail AG, a leading manufacturer of rolling stock, has ordered six 100 kW FCmove-HD+ fuel cell engines from Ballard Power Systems to power the first hydrogen train in the United States. The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 train was awarded to Stadler by San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), with the option of additional trains in the future.
The train is expected to be in service in 2024 and will seat more than 100 passengers.
Earlier this month, Stadler signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the design and delivery of four zero emission hydrogen FLIRT trains for California. The MOU articulates the responsibilities and roles of each stakeholder and will lead to a contract which outlines the procurement of the zero emission multiple units, with the option to purchase up 25 units.
The vehicles are intended to be deployed state-wide in California and this MOU stands as an interim agreement for work to begin on California’s next big rail investment.
Stadler is the only manufacturer in North America that designs and builds service proven rail vehicles compliant with the FRA AVT Crashworthiness Standards. Stadler is also one of very few original equipment manufacturers who has built a zero-emission multiple unit train powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. For these reasons, CAlSTA and CalTrans have entered into the Memorandum of Understanding with Stadler.
Stadler sold the FLIRT H2 to the SBCTA in 2019. The vehicle was presented to the public for the first time at InnoTrans in Berlin earlier this month. The FLIRT H2 for SBCTA—to be powered by Ballard—is intended to start passenger service in 2024 as the first hydrogen-powered passenger train in service in the United States.
The Stadler FLIRT is a single-deck multiple-unit train designed for intercity and long distance travel. Stadler has sold 2,000 units in 21 countries. In addition to fully electric, diesel and multi-mode propulsion, Stadler also offers FLIRT vehicles with alternative drive solutions such as battery and hydrogen. Stadler’s battery train, the FLIRT Akku, currently holds the world record for achieving the furthest distance for a battery train in battery-only mode.