Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has entered its hydrogen-powered locomotive into the Guinness World Records for a 2,800km unbroken journey. 

It set the record for the longest journey ever completed by a hydrogen train designed for passenger use, without refuelling or recharging. 

Stadler’s FLIRT H2 is the hydrogen-powered model of its popular commuter trainset, the FLIRT series, and broke the record as it completed its testing period. 

The record attempt was made at Stadler’s test track in Pueblo, in Colorado, overnight from the 20-22 March 2024 with the help of ENSCO engineers. 

The record-breaking test ran for a total of 46 hours, completing 2,803km (1,741.7 miles), on a single tank of fuel. 

“With the continuous development of innovative technologies, Stadler is consistently focusing on the future of rail transport with alternative drive systems,” the manufacturer’s US CEO Martin Ritter said. 

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“By using hydrogen as an energy source, we are making an active contribution to environmental protection and shaping the sustainable and emission-free travel of tomorrow,” he added.

The FLIRT H2 is being tested in the US before deployment with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) in California. 

Credit: Stadler

The SBCTA trains consist of two passenger-bearing carriages, and a middle “power pack” containing hydrogen tanks and fuel cells which transform the element into electricity. This power is then fed to a traction battery and the train’s drive system. 

A second California contract with Caltrans, the state’s transport authority, will see Stadler deliver a further 10 units for longer routes. 

Outside of the US, Stadler has 15 orders on its book for the hydrogen trains in Europe, with at least two Italian operating companies setting sights on the H2.