Talgo chooses Extremadura to present its innovative hydrogen propulsion system

  • It will be the first prototype in Spain
  • Hydrogen technology is an emission-free alternative for non-electrified lines, where diesel trains are now operating
  • The system has been presented in Don Benido, Badajoz, within the framework of the SOI H2 Conference, on the possibilities that hydrogen technologies present in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula (SoI)

Talgo has presented this Wednesday at Don Benito, in Badajoz, its hydrogen-based rail vehicle propulsion system, a green, innovative and efficient alternative to replace diesel engines. The project has been presented within the framework of the first Conference on Hydrogen as a Vector of Socioeconomic Development in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula (SOI H2). The event, which was held both on site and virtually, was attended by Emilio Garcia, Director of Innovation at Talgo.

This system is configured as a modular solution that can be installed on all types of trains, but has been specifically designed for the Urban and Medium Distance Vittal platform, with which Talgo competes in various bidding processes in Spain and other countries.

The first track validation tests will be carried out on the Extremadura railway lines in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Hydrogen-powered trains

This innovative system uses hydrogen batteries that provide the energy for the train's electric motors. It is powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic or wind, which produce hydrogen that is stored and then used to power fuel cell-based propulsion systems, such as the one designed by Talgo.  The system is complemented by batteries that increase the speed of the train when it starts, taking advantage of the braking system to recharge it.

Unlike the extended battery systems in the automotive industry, hydrogen (H2) technology is the logical answer to the needs of heavy transport and, in particular, of those railway lines that do not have catenary electrification systems, and which today depend on trains powered by diesel engines. The hydrogen system designed by Talgo enables conventional network lines to be "electrified" without the need for costly and lengthy adaptation operations, and without the use of fossil fuels.

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