San Benrardino, Ca -A contract signing 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. This holds the fuel cells and the hydrogen tanks. The train is expected to have seating space for 108 passengers and in addition generous standing room. The FLIRT H2 is projected transport passengers with a maximum speed of up to 79 mph (130 km/h). The predicted delivery is in the year 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.
Stadler and SBCTA started their partnership in 2017, when SBCTA ordered three diesel electric multiple unit (DMU) FLIRT. The three DMU are intended for the future Arrow Passenger Rail Service, scheduled to run between Redlands and San Bernardino, connecting to the entire Metrolink system at the San Bernardino Transit Center.
International rail vehicle construction company, Stadler, is headquartered in Bussnang in Eastern Switzerland. Founded in 1942, it has a workforce of around 10,500 based in various production and over 40 service locations. Stadler provides a comprehensive range of products in the heavy and urban transport segments: High-speed trains, intercity trains, regional and commuter heavy rail trains, underground trains, tram trains and trams. Stadler also manufactures main-line locomotives, shunting locomotives and passenger carriages, including the most powerful diesel-electric locomotive in Europe. It is the world’s leading manufacturer in the rack-and-pinion rail vehicle industry.
Serving more than 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County, the SBCTA is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. The SBCTA administers Measure I, the half-cent transportation sales tax approved by county voters in 1989, and supports freeway construction projects, regional and local road improvements, train and bus transportation, railroad crossings, call boxes, ridesharing, congestion management efforts, and long-term planning studies.