A contract signing Wednesday, Nov. 13 between Stadler U.S. and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) clears the way for the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to operate in the United States.
The agreement marks a major milestone in bringing zero-emission passenger rail technology to the U.S. The hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 vehicle will be introduced in 2024 as part of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, a nine-mile connector between Redlands and San Bernardino’s Metrolink station.
Under the agreement, Stadler will develop the first hydrogen-powered train. The ordered vehicle consists of two cars with a power pack in between that holds the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks. The train is expected to seat 108 passengers in addition to generous standing room. The FLIRT H2 is projected to transport passengers at a maximum speed of up to 79 mph (130 km/h). The predicted delivery will be in 2023; the train is scheduled to enter passenger service in 2024.
“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,” SBCTA President Darcy McNaboe said. “The hydrogen FLIRT will help us address the commuting needs of today while preserving our environment for a better tomorrow.”
“Stadler is committed 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,” said Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler US Inc.