Inland Empire Will Be Home to America’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train

Inland Empire Will Be Home to America’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train

San Bernardino

Last week the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) signed a contract with Stadler U.S Inc. and in the process paved the way for America’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train to operate in America. Stadler is an international rail vehicle construction company headquartered in Eastern Switzerland. The agreement is considered a major milestone as it will bring zero-emission passenger rail technology to the United States.  The hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 vehicle is scheduled to be introduced sometime during 2024 as part of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project—a nine-mile connector between Redlands and San Bernardino’s Metrolink station. The Stadler vehicle will consists of two cars with a power pack in between to hold the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks. The train will have seating to accommodate up to 108 passengers in addition to generous standing room. It is expected to transport passengers at a maximum speed of up to 79 mph. The FLIRT H2 will be delivered in 2023 and as noted above, is expected to enter passenger service sometime in 2024.   Commenting on San Bernardino being home to the nation’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train SBCTA President Darcy McNaboe said, “Implementing innovative solutions like this first-of-its-kind passenger train is an excellent example of how we are demonstrating our commitment to the next generation in San Bernardino County. The hydrogen FLIRT will help us address the commuting needs of today while preserving our environment for a better tomorrow.” The CEO of Stadler US Inc. Martin Ritter talked about his organization’s commitment to designing and building green technology for the transportation industry. “We are delighted that SBCTA shares our enthusiasm for this goal. We have an excellent relationship with SBCTA, and it is a great honor to partner with them to bring the first hydrogen-powered train to the United States.”  SBCTA began its partnership with Stadler in 2017 when it ordered three diesel-electric multiple unit (DMU) FLIRT for the future Arrow Passenger Rail Service that will eventually run between Redlands and San Bernardino which will connect the entire Metrolink system at the San Bernardino Transit Center.

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