Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has commenced static tests on a hydrogen-driven demonstrator train at its plant in Zaragoza, Spain.

This train is under development for the FCH2Rail (Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications) project.

The FCH2Rail project is being carried out by a consortium of companies, including DLR, Toyota, Renfe, Adif, CNH2, IP, and FAIVELEY StemmannTechnik, in addition to CAF.

Said to be based on one of Renfe’s ‘Civia’ commuter trains, the demonstrator vehicle features a new power generation system.

The system, incorporated into the vehicle’s existing traction system, uses the hybridisation of energy from hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

Subsequently, it is expected to become one of the first bi-mode demonstrator trains with hydrogen fuel cells.

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All the equipment used for the new Fuel Cell Hybrid Powerpack has been trialled, with CAF conducting the mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic work to deploy it on the original Civia unit.

Under the next stage, tests will be conducted to validate the integration of this new system, helping it to convert into a zero-emissions bi-mode train.

CAF stated that “the key milestone will also have been reached following the completion of the tightness tests on the hydrogen system, when the first hydrogen refueling can take place and hydrogen is supplied to the fuel cells.”

Later, the new hybrid system will be used to provide the energy for the train.

Upon completion of the static tests, the unit is anticipated to be in optimum condition to begin dynamic tests on an external track. The dynamic tests are expected to be conducted this summer.

Recently, CAF was selected to supply new light rail vehicles to Stadtwerke Bonn Verkehrs (SWBV) and Elektrische Bahnen der Stadt Bonn in Germany.