Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has signed an agreement with electricity company Iberdrola to cooperate on promoting green hydrogen use in the railway sector and for passenger transport.

The alliance will focus on promoting comprehensive solutions that will enable replacement of fossil fuel-powered trains with emission-free trains for operations on non-electrified lines.

This will also eliminate the need for installing catenaries or making significant modifications on such non-electrified sections of railway lines.

Furthermore, the partners aim to develop the renewable hydrogen value chain in railway sector and passenger transport, with the highest standards of safety, technology and competitiveness.

Iberdrola green hydrogen global director Millán-García Tola said: “This alliance reinforces Iberdrola’s commitment to the decarbonisation of transport that is difficult to electrify.

“Together with CAF, a leader in sustainable mobility, we want to continue to make solutions that accelerate the transition to emission-free transport a reality.

“Both companies complement each other perfectly, and together we can offer comprehensive complementary responses to the electrification of transport, a sector responsible for a third of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

CAF is due to start testing its new green hydrogen train in April 2022. The train was developed at its Zaragoza plant as part of the FCH2RAIL project.

The FCH2RAIL project aims to develop a zero-emission vehicle with competitive operating performance when compared with diesel engine-powered trains.

CAF Group technology director Iosu Ibarbia said: “We believe that this collaboration agreement with Iberdrola reinforces this commitment and will make a significant contribution to meeting the decarbonisation objectives in the mobility sector.”