The SNCB will study in 2020 the opportunity to use hydrogen trains, the National Climate and Energy Plan adopted on Friday by the federal government explains.
The National Climate and Energy Plan plans to invest €35 billion in rail. “The possibility to operate lines with hydrogen trains or electric railcars equipped with batteries to cover short distances on non-electrified lines will be reviewed in 2020,” the document indicates.
In September 2018, hydrogen trains manufactured by Alstom were commissioned in Germany. In August, the French SNCF announced plans to order a dozen regional hydrogen trains from the same manufacturer.
These trains do not draw their energy from electrical power but from a fuel cell installed on the train.
Hydrogen trains could also be considered as part of a longer-term reflection on the rail network, a very large consumer of electricity, the office of the Minister for Mobility François Bellot explained.
When asked in January 2017 by former MP Marcel Cheron (Ecolo), the Minister had already then expressed interest in this technology presented by the railway company’s technicians at InnoTrans.