Fnm and Alstom present Italy’s first hydrogen train in Milan

The train will enter commercial service in Valcamonica between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025, along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line

Fnm, the main integrated group in sustainable mobility in Lombardy, today presented, together with the manufacturing company Alstom, global leader in intelligent and sustainable mobility, the hydrogen-powered Coradia Stream train which marks the beginning of a new era in rail passenger transport in Italy. The event took place within Expo Ferroviaria 2023. The train will enter commercial service in Valcamonica between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2025, along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line of FERROVIENORD on which the service it is managed by Trenord, as part of the H2iseO project, which aims to create the first Italian Hydrogen Valley in the Brescia area.

The Coradia Stream, powered by hydrogen, responds to the European objective of reducing Co2 emissions by 100% by 2050 and is the first train with zero direct Co2 emissions for Italy equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, with a total capacity of 260 seats and a range of more than 600 km.

The presentation ceremony was attended by, among others, the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini, the Undersecretary of State at the Presidency of the Council Alessandro Morelli, the Lombardy Region with the councilors Franco Lucente (Transport and Sustainable Mobility ), Claudia Maria Terzi (Infrastructures and Public Works) and the president of Assolombarda, Alessandro Spada. Also speaking were the president of Fnm Andrea Gibelli, the president of Ferrovienord Fulvio Caradonna, the president of Trenord Federica Santini, the CEO of Trenord and general director of Fnm Marco Piuri, the Alstom president of the Europe Region Gian Luca Erbacci and the director general of Alstom Italia and president and CEO of Alstom Ferroviaria, Michele Viale. The Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, spoke with a video message during the inauguration.

Today’s event follows the agreement signed by Fnm and Alstom in November 2020 which provides for the supply of six hydrogen fuel cell trains to Trenord, with an option for a further eight. The introduction of the hydrogen train is part of the H2iseO Hydrogen Valley project. Promoted by Fnm, Ferrovienord and Trenord, H2iseO has the objective of developing an economic and industrial hydrogen supply chain in Valcamonica, starting from the mobility sector, starting the energy conversion of the territory, contributing to the decarbonisation of a significant part of public transport local.

This is a highly innovative project, which involves, among other things, the construction of three plants for the production, storage and distribution of renewable hydrogen without Co2 emissions (in Brescia, Iseo and Edolo), as well as the commissioning of 40 hydrogen buses to replace the entire fleet currently used by Fnm Autoservizi. The new hydrogen trains are based on the model of Alstom’s Coradia Stream single-deck regional train, aimed at the European market and already produced by Alstom in Italy.

The hydrogen Coradia Stream will maintain the high standards of comfort already appreciated by passengers in its electric version and will guarantee the same operational performance as diesel trains, including autonomy.

The hydrogen Coradia Stream can operate on non-electrified lines to replace trains that use fossil fuels, and offers comfort and quietness characteristics comparable to those of other electric Coradia models, with a range of over 600 kilometres. The train was created and produced in the Alstom factories in Italy, involving the Savigliano site for development, certification, production and testing, the Vado Ligure site for the preparation of the ‘power car’ in which the technologically innovative part linked to hydrogen, the Sesto San Giovanni site for the components and the Bologna site for the development of the signaling system.

“Today’s event marks a fundamental stage in the path started by the Fnm Group in November 2020 with H2iseO – explained the president of Fnm, Andrea Gibelli –. It is a project with a high content of innovation, which embraces the social dimensions , economic, geographical, environmental and mobility and has great value in terms of sustainability because it allows us to use the existing railway infrastructure by putting new hydrogen trains into service, which are capable of reducing emissions, to contribute to decarbonisation of mobility in the valley and to guarantee greater comfort for travellers. Furthermore, the creation of an economic and industrial district based on hydrogen, starting from railway mobility but not only, will have positive repercussions on the economy and employment of the area” .

“Ferrovienord is working with great commitment in the construction of the plants and related infrastructural works – underlined the president of Ferrovienord, Fulvio Caradonna – in view of the start of the test phase and the commercial service of the train. Everything is taking place with the maximum attention to the issue of safety and sustainability and it couldn’t be otherwise. The development of the projects and the construction site of the works follow rigorous procedures from this point of view”.

“We are proud to be here today together with Fnm to present the first hydrogen train that will enter service in the Italian railway system. A project that represents significant progress for the entire railway sector and confirms Alstom’s role in anticipating and shaping the future of mobility with new highly sustainable transport solutions – declared Michele Viale, general director of Alstom Italia and president and CEO of Alstom Ferroviaria -. The hydrogen train will be the protagonist of the first Italian ‘Hydrogen Valley’, located in Valcamonica along the non-electrified Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line, and will replace the current diesel trains”.

“Heavy mobility is the first sector of application of hydrogen – commented Marco Piuri, CEO of Trenord and general director of Fnm -. Inaugurating the use of this technology in an area that connects, by vocation, ensures that the its value is not only realized in the individual project, but is spread to other areas. I am thinking of industries and services that can be reached by the hydrogen network”.

“This – added Piuri – is the objective that we aim to achieve with H2iseO: we want it to be scalable, beyond rail and bus mobility. Only this will allow us to truly create a Hydrogen Valley. H2iseO is a one-step step broader path: in recent years, in Valcamonica we have progressively renewed the fleet, moving from old diesel railcars to the more modern ATRs, better performing and less polluting, up to hydrogen. What does this mean? That we will pass among the small towns releasing water vapor instead of the black smoke of a few years ago.”

Federica Santini, president of Trenord, declared: “Sustainability is our objective and also our trajectory. The hydrogen-powered train is an essential piece of this path that is built in the daily progress of Trenord. For us, being sustainable means using a co-innovation process, shared with various entities in our complex ecosystem, to develop all-round projects that grow the corporate culture, characterize industrial processes and implement solutions compatible with environmental protection, energy saving and the use of technology to serve citizens. The hydrogen train, together with over 200 new trains and the digitalisation of sales systems, today becomes the protagonist of this ideal line of company growth which serves, first and foremost, the sustainable life of our customers -travellers”.

Alstom has been a supplier and maintainer of the Fnm Group for over 15 years. During this period, Alstom contributed to the operation and maintenance of more than 100 single-decker EMU trains, including 60 Coradia Stream units and 90 E464 locomotives.