Talgo Overtakes CAF With the First Tests of the Hydrogen Train

By January 25, 2022 4   min read  (680 words)

January 25, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Talgo Overtakes CAF With the First Tests of the Hydrogen Train

The manufacturer from Alava will have the train on the track this spring, while CAF will not carry out the first tests on the railway line until summer

The president of Talgo, Carlos Palacio Oriol, confirmed this Monday that the first tests of the hydrogen train that drives the company, the ‘ Vittal One ‘, will begin next March. They will be the first steps before going out on the road, a procedure that will take place in the spring. Talgo, despite a 3-month delay in the calendar, maintains its lead in the race it is leading with CAF to develop the first hydrogen train for a Spanish manufacturer. The Gipuzkoan company is participating in a European project with several companies, including Renfe, which plans to put the first train on the track in the summer near its workshops in Zaragoza.

fuelcellsworks, Spain: University Center of Merida (CUMe) to Develop Exterior Design of Talgo's Hydrogen Train

Hydrogen is one of the keys to the elimination of greenhouse gases in passenger and freight transport. A bet that has become strategic in the railway industry where a race has been opened to develop the first hydrogen-powered locomotives. Of the Basque constructors, Talgo  is ahead and, after the static tests announced today at Palacio Oriol, the company estimates that in spring its first locomotive will be seen in motion on the tracks near the Las Matas II workshops (Madrid).

As ‘Crónica Vasca‘ already pointed out , Talgo’s director of innovation, Emilio García, confirmed that in October “the tests of the” complete traction chain, still not mounted on the vehicle, “have been successfully tested”. and in conditions similar to those of real operation”. Some tests that have been carried out in the workshop of the National Hydrogen Center. The next steps, as explained by García, are to mount the system on the locomotive and the ‘cars’ of a conventional ‘Talgo Intercity’ train with which the first tests on the track will be carried out. First, it is necessary to carry out “static tests” in the workshop of the factory that the company has in Madrid and which are the ones that will be carried out this March.

As explained by the president of Talgo, Carlos Palacio Oriol, supply problems, which have affected the entire industry, have caused a delay of “three months”, and it is that it was planned to be able to carry out the first tests at the end of 2021. related Palacio Oriol, the design and engineering work has gone very fast and it has been when receiving the components with which to build the locomotive when the bottleneck has been generated. This technology is key since it would allow trains to travel on 40% of the tracks that are not electrified in Europe, 80,000 km, without making CO2 emissions.

Behind Alstom and Stadler

One of Renfe’s most important tenders, which affects more than 70 regional trains, has been put on hold precisely for wanting to change the bases and include the requirement that manufacturers have to present hydrogen locomotives. An element that accelerated the technological race between Talgo and CAF that seek to catch up with their European competitors Alstom and Stadler, which already have hydrogen trains for commercial use.

After the Talgo tests, the homologation task will be pending, before making the leap to commercial use.

CAF’s project

CAF, from Gipuzkoa, will carry out the first track tests in the summer of 2022 in Zaragoza within the framework of a project in which it participates with Renfe and with a “Civia” series train. The first trips to test the technology will be between the Aragonese capital and the Canfranc station. The national railway operator participates in this project together with Toyota, Adif, Infraestructuras de Portugal, the German aerospace center DLR and the national hydrogen center CNH2. An initiative that has received 14 million from the European Union through a Horizon 2020 project. Sources from the company have indicated that the technology and tests will be advanced so that, once the tender is awarded, the new technology can be incorporated into the process of manufacturing.

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