Is hydrogen power the next evolution of railroading? In Germany, hydrogen powered locomotives are taking to the rails . Stanley Reed reports in The New York Times:
In a breakthrough for a green fuel, two hydrogen-powered trains are expected to go into commercial service Monday on a rail line in northern Germany near Hamburg. The trains, which will serve cities including Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven, will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells that generate electricity through a chemical reaction. The trains are being promoted as a cheaper alternative to stringing wires on rail lines that are not electrified. Hydrogen-powered vehicles produce no emissions of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for climate change, or other pollutants. Despite substantial support from Germany and other governments, high costs and other obstacles have so far limited use of the gas as a transportation fuel. The trains were made by Alstom, a French company that has received extensive government support for developing them. Alstom officials said they plan to eventually have 14 trains on the line in Lower Saxony and that they are in talks with rail operators in other German regions and internationally to sell more trains.
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