While hydrogen train tests have already made it possible to place the first orders and to schedule the construction of 2 dedicated refueling stations, respectively near Frankfurt and Bremervörde in northern Germany, the federal government is concerned about not have specific safety regulations.
Until now, the authorities have relied on technical regulations and standards in force in the industry and the automotive sector to assess conformity and approve the first railway machines. This is undoubtedly the case with Alstom’s Coradia iLint trains, the first examples of which have been commercially operated across the Rhine since September 2018.
Alstom’s hydrogen trains have already won over several territories in Germany. By 2022, 14 additional copies will be launched on the rails in Lower Saxony on behalf of the regional operator LNVG, and 27 in the Land of Hesse with RMV.
Two years later, Deutsche Bahn is to open an experimental operation on the Tübingen-Pforzheim line with trains supplied by Siemens Mobility. However, the start of construction is on the 2021 calendar. These programs and those to come have prompted the German public authorities to secure this development with distinctive regulatory and technical requirements.
1st phase: study
Before embarking on drafting a set of rules, the certification body intends to review all relevant national and international constraints and standards applicable to hydrogen vehicles and fuel cell systems. At the end of this first service for the will follow an analysis aimed at estimating their transposition to rail mobility.
2nd phase: draft standard
With the selected elements, TÜV Rheinland InterTraffic will provide in 1 year a draft rail-specific standard for on-board hydrogen fuel cell systems in rail vehicles. Overall, the organization will ensure the management of the project, the documentation of the results of the work, and the coordination of the working group. The latter will include experts active worldwide in the hydrogen sector.