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Talgo Unveils its Hydrogen Railway Hydrogen Propulsion System

By September 16, 2020 3   min read  (590 words)

September 16, 2020 |

Talgo chooses Extremadura to present its innovative hydrogen propulsion system

  • Hydrogen technology is an emission-free alternative for non-electrified lines, where diesel trains now run
  • The system has been presented in Don Benito, Badajoz, within the framework of the SOI H2 Conference, on the possibilities of Hydrogen technologies in the Iberian Southwest (SoI)

Talgo has presented this Wednesday at Don Benito, in Badajoz, its propulsion system for railway vehicles based on hydrogen, a green, innovative and efficient alternative to replacing diesel locomotives. The project has been presented within the framework of the first Hydrogen Conference as a vector of socio-economic development in the Iberian Southwest (SOI H2). The event, which is held in person and also online, was attended by Emilio García, Director of Innovation at Talgo.

This system is configured as a modular solution that allows it to be installed on all types of trains, but it has been specifically designed for the Vittal Cercanías and Media Distancia platform, with which Talgo participates in various bidding processes in Spain and other countries.

The first road validation tests will be carried out on Extremadura lines in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Hydrogen-powered trains

This innovative system uses hydrogen batteries that provide energy to the train’s electric motors. It is powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic or wind, which produce hydrogen that is stored and later used to power advanced propulsion systems based on fuel cells, such as the one designed by Talgo. The system is complemented by batteries that increase the acceleration available at starts, taking advantage of the train braking to recharge.

Unlike extended battery systems in the automotive industry, hydrogen (H2) technology is presented as the logical answer to the needs of heavy transport and, in particular, of those railway lines that do not have electrification systems by catenary, and that today depend on trains powered by diesel engines. The hydrogen system designed by Talgo thus makes it possible to ‘electrify’ the conventional grid lines without the need for costly and lengthy adaptation works, dispensing with fossil fuels.

Green Extremadura

The leading high-speed train manufacturer in Spain has selected Extremadura as part of a broader strategy that recognizes the efforts of Extremadura’s Civil and Business Society and regional Public Administrations to innovate and accelerate a transition to completely decarbonized transport networks.

The choice of Extremadura has to do not only with the type of existing infrastructure but also with the fact that it is one of the Autonomous Communities that have shown a more determined commitment to the generation and regeneration of industrial chains based on the local production of Hydrogen.

About Talgo

Talgo SA is the leading company in the design, manufacture, and maintenance of high-speed light rail with an industrial presence in seven countries: Spain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The Company is recognized worldwide for its innovative capacity, distinctive unique technology, and reliability. Talgo is the train supplier in the high-speed project for the “Haramain” railway line between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia and counts among its clients the railway administrations of Germany, the United States, and Russia.

About the SOI H2 Project

SOI H2 Project is a cross-cutting initiative promoted by both the public and private sectors to make the Hydrogen industry a vector of socio-economic development in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, with the direct support of LLOABRE, ADRAL, and Fundecyt-PCTEX (Junta of Extremadura), which estimates the number of jobs that could be created in the ALEX Euroregion (Alentejo + Extremadura) at 50,000.

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