Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has commenced the dynamic track testing of a hydrogen-driven demonstrator train designed for the Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications (FCH2RAIL) project.

FCH2RAIL is a consortium that consists of DLR, Toyota, Renfe, ADIF, CNH2, IP, Stemmann-Technik and CAF.

Based on one of Renfe’s commuter trains, the demonstrator train is equipped with a new power generation system that uses a hybridisation of energy from hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

This system is incorporated into the vehicle’s existing traction system to make it one of the first bi-mode demonstrator trains with hydrogen fuel cells.

The dynamic testing of the train on an external track has been started following the completion of static testing.

The hybridisation of the fuel cells and the batteries will be advanced on routes, which were specifically chosen to be used for commercial services, during the dynamic tests.

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According to CAF, the trials will help assess the competitiveness of the new bi-mode hybrid propulsion solution against the diesel trains presently in service on multiple routes.

The aim is to support decarbonisation in the railway space.

This project is being developed with an investment of €14m, of which €10m is being funded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, a European Commission agency focused on the development of hydrogen and fuel cells. 

Recently, CAF secured over €100m worth of contracts to improve public transport in Athens, Greece, and the Spanish city of Seville.