Our final story comes from Germany where a local rail service near Hamburg will switch to running only hydrogen-powered trains, with a fleet of 14 built by the French company Alstom.
Stephan Weil, the state premier of Lower Saxony, attended a ceremony in Bremervörde last Wednesday to officially open the all-hydrogen line.
In 2018, the new type of train underwent its first commercial test on the route connecting Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde, and Buxtehude.
Since then, some hydrogen locomotives have been operating on the about 100-kilometre (almost 60-mile) route, but in addition to the diesel-powered trains that did the majority of the work.
“As a renewable energy state, we mark another milestone on the road towards climate neutrality in our transport sector.” Said Stephan Weil.
The project’s developers, Alstom, claim that it will reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 4,000 tonnes every year.
Developers hope that hydrogen trains could provide a zero-emissions solution for rail travel on lines that are still using diesel, which powers around one-fifth of train journeys in Germany.
Eventually, it is estimated that in Germany alone “between 2,500 and 3,000 diesel trains could be replaced by hydrogen models.”
The benefit of hydrogen trains is that extra infrastructure is not needed for the trains to run on existing lines – no power is required, simply hydrogen as a fuel source.
It is also the most available element on the planet and thus should never run out.
The only by-product of this fuel type is water and oxygen – neither of which can damage the environment, unlike diesel trains which emit nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and many more harmful by-products of burning fossil fuels.
Hydrogen trains sound a lot better than the alternative and hopefully, more and more companies across Germany and the world will take this next step to a more sustainable future.
That’s it for this week – three great news stories from fashion, sports and transportation that should give you hope and help you see that the solutions to the climate issues we face are being worked on by our global community, which is made up of individuals just like you!