More hydrogen-powered trains on their way to California this decade

The below Sept. 20, 2022 press release is from Stadler US Inc.*

Stadler has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the design and delivery of four zero emission hydrogen FLIRT trains for California. This MOU articulates the responsibilities and roles of each stakeholder and will lead to a contract which outlines the procurement of the zero emission multiple units, with the option to purchase up [to] 25 units.

The vehicles are intended to be deployed state-wide in California and this MOU stands as an interim agreement for work to begin on California’s next big rail investment.

Stadler is the only manufacturer in North America that designs and builds service proven rail vehicles compliant with the [Federal Railroad Administration] AVT Crashworthiness Standards. Stadler is also one of the very few original equipment manufacturers who has built a zero-emission multiple unit train powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. For these reasons, CalSTA and CalTrans have entered into the Memorandum of Understanding with Stadler.

Stadler sold a FLIRT H2 to another California customer, San Bernardino County Transit Authority (SBCTA), in 2019. The vehicle was presented to the public for the first time at InnoTrans in Berlin earlier today. The FLIRT H2 for SBCTA is intended to start passenger service in 2024 as the first hydrogen-powered passenger train in service in the United States.

”Stadler’s goal is to help make travel in North America environmentally-friendly through the vehicles and services we provide. Only very few rail lines in the US are electrified, which is why solutions like the FLIRT H2 are so important here. It is great to be part of California’s move toward eco-friendly travel with another zero emission project in the state and we look forward to continue our work with CalSTA and CalTrans to make this a reality” says Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler US Inc.

The Stadler FLIRT is a single-deck multiple-unit train designed for intercity and long distance travel. Stadler has sold 2000 units of its bestseller in 21 countries. In addition to fully electric, diesel and multi-mode propulsion Stadler also offers FLIRT vehicles with alternative drive solutions such as battery and hydrogen. Stadler’s battery train, the FLIRT Akku, currently holds the world record for achieving the furthest distance for a battery train in battery-only mode.

* “More sustainable rail travel for California – MOU Signing,” Sept. 20, 2022 Stadler US Inc. press release.

For more on this technology, see: “When it comes to railway-propulsion development, these are exciting times!” a Nov. 19, 2019 Air Quality Matters blog post.

Home-page photo attached to this Dec. 4, 2022 post: Vivarail.