Ballard Power Systems has received an order from Stadler Rail to supply six 100 kW Fcmove-HD+ fuel cell modules to power the first hydrogen train in the US. The train is expected to enter service in San Bernardino, California, in 2024 and will seat over 100 passengers.
The contract awarded to Stadler by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) also includes an option for additional H2 trains. The Flirt H2 trains to be utilised on this line in California are built by Stadler at its factory in Bussnang, Switzerland.
According to the US publication Trains.com, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority ordered the two-car trainset in 2019. The new zero-emission hydrogen-powered multiple-unit (ZEMU) trains are to undergo testing in Europe from now and into next year before being shipped to the US to enter service in 2024.
“We continue to see the critical role hydrogen will play in decarbonizing our economy. We are excited to work with Stadler, a global industry leader in rail manufacturing, to reduce emissions in the transportation sector and bring the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission passenger train to the United States,” said Randy MacEwen, Ballard CEO.
Ballard Power Systems recently received a large order from Siemens Mobility for fuel cell modules for hydrogen trains. For this recent order, the two-car Mireo Plus H trains contain 400 kW of fuel cell power, while the train’s traction system has an output of up to 1.7 MW. At the same time, Siemens Mobility signed a letter of intent with Ballard for the delivery of 200 more fuel cell modules with a total output of 40 MW over the next six years, with a firm commitment for 100 of the modules. These will also be used in Siemens Mireo Plus H trains.
Canada-based Ballard Power Systems has specialized in fuel cell systems for hard-to-decarbonise sectors (shipping, trucking, trains, aircraft) for some time now. The early-mover is now benefitting from the current flurry of activity in these sectors.