The Canary Islands bet on hydrogen to boost rail transport


Roman RodriguezVice President of the Canary Islands and Minister of Finance, Budgets and European Affairs, attended the workshops of the railway manufacturer on Tuesday Alstom from Bremervorde, territory belonging to the region of Lower Saxony in Germany. After this visit, the vice president brandished the benefits of implementing hydrogen trains within the largest islands of the archipelago: Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

“The train is a modernizer, transformer and tractor of a clean energy such as that generated by hydrogen. The hydrogen train is the future of mobility and the Canary Islands have to get on it yes or yes“, he stated.

Rodríguez was accompanied during his stay in German lands by the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing, Sebastián Franquis, and by the Island Councilors of Public Works and Transport of the councils of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, Miguel Ángel Pérez and Enrique Arriaga, respectively. .

We are in this region of northern Germany, in Lower Saxony, with a unique experience that is hydrogen trains,” continued the vice president. “This is the first place in the world where a hydrogen train works and the proposal that we are trying to build, seeking the necessary European funding to be able to carry it outconsists of carrying out the railway projects in Tenerife and Gran Canaria to make the Canary Islands the first autonomous community that would implement this type of clean technology, with the use of hydrogen, in rail transport”.

The vice-president explained that, with a view to their implementation in the Canary Islands, “they would be medium-distance trains, with routes of between 55 and 80 kilometers and a speed that will oscillate between 140 and 160 kilometers per hour“. In addition, the model visited by Rodríguez was a Alstom Coradia iLintwhich was in a technical stoppage within the reliability improvement process, which has made it possible to analyze it in more detail than if it were in service.

The great novelty, he indicated, “is that hydrogen would be incorporated as an energy source, something in which both the Government and the councils agree, in the Canary Islands we have extraordinary natural conditions for its production and its use is not only positive, since from the point of view of decarbonisation and the fight against climate change, but also because the production of industrial hydrogen for trains must also be an accelerator towards the energy sovereignty of the islands”.

Capacity up to 550 passengers

This hydrogen train has a capacity that ranges between 150 and 550 passengers and can travel up to 1,175 kilometers without refuelling, emitting only water vapor and operating with remarkably low noise levels. The manufacturer Alstom already covers the line that separates the German towns of Buxtehude and Bremervörde, in Lower Saxony, with commercial use since last September.

Their forecasts go through gradually incorporating hydrogen trains until next summer with 14 units. Also in Germany, this company has formalized the order for 27 trains for the metropolitan area of ​​Frankfurt. On the other hand, reports the Government in a note, in Italy they have a contract to implement six hydrogen trains, plus another eight optional ones that will operate in the Lombardy region and in France Alstom will manufacture a dozen railway units to operate in four other regions finery.

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