Nestlé Waters has unveiled plans to use a hydrogen-driven freight train, developed by Alstom and Engie, from 2025 in France.

The bottled water company will use the freight train driven by electricity from the rail network and hydrogen in non-electrified sectors for the transportation of VITTEL natural mineral water between the factory in the Vosges and its various distribution centres in France.

This move is expected to help lower emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum.

The train will travel around 600km between Vittel and Arles, as well as about 760km between Vittel/Montreuil-Bellay.

The dual-mode solution will feature a generator wagon that integrates a high-power fuel cell system powered by renewable hydrogen besides a line-electric locomotive connected by an electrical power cable.

Without using any catenary, the generating wagon can supply the locomotive with electricity.

Nestlé Waters will be the first European firm to benefit from this hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Alstom has developed an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system to power electric locomotives in non-electrified areas.

Engie will engage in the supply of renewable hydrogen for this solution via a modern supply chain.

Designed to replace diesel-powered locomotives, Alstom and Engie focused on the development of the hydrogen fuel cell solution for rail freight under a partnership announced in April this year.

Nestlé Waters France CEO Sophie Dubois said: “At Nestlé Waters, we favour rail freight whenever possible.

“We are constantly looking for efficient solutions to reduce the carbon impact of our supply chain.”

Last month, Alstom received a €900m contract from Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) to provide the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) for central and southern Italy.