A group of Spanish companies plan to develop the world’s first hydrogen high speed train

A group of Spanish companies plan to develop the world’s first hydrogen high speed train

January 26, 2024 1 By Erin Kilgore

This endeavor is to be carried out by Talgo and others.

Talgo (Tren Articulado Ligero Goicoechea Oriol), a Spanish manufacturer of intercity, standard and high-speed passenger trains, and a consortium of 10 Spanish companies and organizations, have been awarded a grant of €6.5 million ($7 million) to co-develop the first hydrogen high speed train in the world.

It is known as the Hympulso project.

The planned hydrogen high speed train, better known as the Hympulso project, will reportedly be based on the existing Talgo 250 bi-mode train. The main difference between the existing model and the hydrogen one is that the H2 model will have a new hybrid power car that will combine hydrogen fuel cells and batteries to power the train.

More specifically, the hydrogen high speed train Talgo 250 model will be modified so one of the two diesel-electric propulsion vehicles at the end of each train will be replaced by a new propulsion vehicle that combines hydrogen and battery technology.

The goal of Hympulso is to produce a working prototype bi-mode gauge-changing train powered by hydrogen and batteries – as well as overhead electrification to charge the battery where available – that is capable of running on conventional and high-speed lines.

All partners involved will contribute their expertise to the hydrogen high speed train project.

Beyond Talgo, which will lead the consortium, the other partners in the program will also be responsible for different parts of the project. For instance:

Hydrogen high speed train - Image of a traditional diesel-powered Talgo High Speed Train

Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

  •  Golendus and Respsol will supply hydrogen and build two refueling stations (one static and one mobile).
  • Repsol will develop mobile hydrogen supply plants.
  •  Ingeteam will design and manufacture reversible high-power converters that can charge the batteries from catenary.
  •  Optimus3D will develop new materials will greater efficiency and durability.
  •  EPowerlabs will develop an electric traction system.
  •  Sener will be in charge of overall risk analysis and operational simulation.
  •  Comillas Pontifical University and Tecnalia will work together with the development team.
  • Adif (a state-owned railway infrastructure manager) will develop specifications for safety-related requirements for all parts of they Hympulso project as well as be the observer.

This is the World’s First Passenger Hydrogen Train – Its unique features include clean energy conversion, flexible battery storage, and smart power management. Designed for non-electrified lines, the iLint ensures sustainable, high-performance train operation.

More details to come.

hydrogen news ebookAccording to Talgo, the Hympulso project – which covers the entire green hydrogen value chain from generation to consumption – is key to addressing technical challenges that have hindered the adoption of renewable hydrogen in the rail sector.

That said, it hasn’t been revealed how much the Hympulso project will cost overall. Also, it is not yet known how long it will take to develop the hydrogen high speed train or when it will be operational.
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