In 2018, The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU) and Shift2Rail commissioned a Study “The Use of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen in the Rail Environment.” The study was undertaken by Roland Berger and has now been completed.
The FCH-JU and Shift2Rail are organising an all-day Workshop in Brussels on 17 May to launch and discuss the Study. The Workshop invitation is available on the FCH-JU website on http://www.fch.europa.eu The Study is not on the site but there is a Concept Paper .
The Concept Paper states that there are four Reports in the Study:
The Concept Paper argues in the main conclusions that there is “a good potential for fuel cells in the railway environment for the replacement of diesel rolling stock. Some of the cases evaluated already show a positive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for fuel cells while in others this technology is recognised as the most adequate zero-emission alternative.”
In assessing the different types of train, the Study concluded that multiple units are closest to market but it points out that projects that involve only a small number of trains or low daily mileage will have problems to reach appropriate TCO due to the infrastructure costs.
Shunter locomotives need more technical development and freight locomotives are more difficult to justify economically. However, “if catenary electrification is not an option, fuel cells would be the only zero-emission option.”
The Study concluded that none of the barriers identified were ‘show-stoppers .’ It recommends:
The May Workshop will be centred around three panels discussing:
European Policy Solutions is closely monitoring the development of hydrogen trains and is planning to organise a Zero Emissions Trains seminar later in the year.
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