Images: Stadler set to deliver first narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion for Italy

Stadler have been awarded two framework agreements by ARST and FdC for the supply and maintenance of hydrogen trains.

ARST train

ARST train - Credit: Stadler

Italian railway operators Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (ARST) and Ferrovie della Calabria (FdC) have awarded Stadler two framework agreements for the supply and maintenance of 10 hydrogen trains for ARST in Sardinia and 15 similar vehicles for FdC in Calabria. This will make Stadler the first train manufacturer in the world to supply narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion. In addition, after delivering the FLIRT H2 for American passenger transport, Stadler is now also supplying hydrogen trains to Europe for the first time. As initial call-off orders from the framework agreements, 

Following two public tenders launched in June, Italian railway operators ARST in Sardinia and FdC in Calabria have each awarded Stadler a framework agreement for the design, production, delivery and maintenance of 10 and 15 trains respectively. The vehicles will be equipped with ecological fuel-cell and hydrogen propulsion and be dedicated to regional and suburban services for the narrow-gauge (950-mm) network in the two Italian regions. Both projects are being financed with EU funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).

FdC train exterior

FdC train exterior – Credit: Stadler

Initial call-off orders from these framework agreements have been placed for the supply of six hydrogen trains for ARST and a further six vehicles for FdC. The vehicles will be developed and built at Stadler ‘s headquarters in Bussnang (Switzerland).

The two framework agreements and initial call-off orders will enable Stadler to further strengthen its leading role in the decarbonisation of rail transport. Stadler is the world’s first railway manufacturer to develop, build and deliver narrow-gauge multiple units with hydrogen propulsion. For Stadler, this is also the first order for hydrogen trains in Europe. It follows Stadler’s delivery of the FLIRT H2, the world’s first hydrogen train, for American passenger transport. The two orders from ARST and FdC are also the first contracts for narrow-gauge multiple units with hydrogen propulsion for use in Italy.

FdC train exterior

FdC train exterior – Credit: Stadler

“Stadler enjoys a long and innovative partnership with ARST and FdC,” Ansgar Brockmeyer, Executive Vice President Marketing & Sales of Stadler, said. “We are proud to be working together to drive forward the decarbonisation of rail transport in Italy. The new narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion are a world premiere and will pioneer sustainable rail transport on narrow-gauge lines worldwide. We would like to thank ARST and FdC for their trust in us and look forward to expanding our partnership even further in the future.”

The trains

The vehicles consist of two passenger cars, whose lightweight aluminium construction helps to increase the train’s energy efficiency, and a power pack to house the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks, as well as other technical equipment.

With an overall length of around 50 metres, the new trains have 89 seats per vehicle for a total of 155 passengers transported and are fully accessible for people with reduced mobility. Furthermore, the new vehicles offer specific areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs and bicycles positioned near the access and exit doors, as well as a PRM toilet compliant with TSI standards.

FdC interior

FdC interior – Credit: Stadler


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