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Technologies of the future: Hungary is considering replacing old diesel trains with hydrogen ones

Technologies of the future: Hungary is considering replacing old diesel trains with hydrogen ones
photo: Archive/Technologies of the future: Hungary is considering replacing old diesel trains with hydrogen ones
29 / 08 / 2022

Dávid Vitézy, Minister of Transport of Hungary, said that the state railway company Magyar Államvasutak (MÁV) is interested in trains that run on hydrogen. In the future, they may replace diesel trains.

The first experimental trains on hydrogen fuel cells have already appeared in Europe. Two market leaders, Alstom and Siemens, have already presented their products.

"Hydrogen fuel cell trains can become one of the solutions for emission-free passenger transportation on non-electrified, mostly regional railway lines. The replacement of diesel trains is particularly relevant in Hungary. After all, manufacturers are gradually stopping the production of diesel trains due to climate problems, and the railway industry sees the future in the technology of using batteries and hydrogen cells. The advantage of hydrogen-powered trains is that they have a much longer range, one charge is enough for up to 1,000 kilometres," said Dávid Vitézy.

However, the Hungarian minister emphasized that only market research is currently underway, and there is no talk of the purchase yet. Nevertheless, the Hungarian State Railways is considering a framework contract for 18 trains in the future. Their maximum speed is 140-160 km/h. Vehicles are designed for 120-200 seats. It is estimated that they can be purchased at the expense of revenues from the system of trading quotas of the European Union within the framework of the "green economy" financing program.

In Košice, Slovakia, hydrogen will be produced from waste - cars and public transport will run on it.

Hydrogen may replace gas in Europe by the middle of the century and is likely to play a significant role by 2050 when the European economy is expected to reach carbon neutrality.

At the beginning of 2021, the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine announced the beginning of the development of the Hydrogen Strategy. Operators of gas transportation systems of Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany are also considering the possibility of repurposing GTS for hydrogen transportation in the future, creating the Central European Hydrogen Corridor.

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