Yes, its true that hydrogen trains are coming to both Europe and Asia in the not too distant future. In Denmark, H2logic, Ringkøbing County and the Danish Technological Institute have joined forces in a preliminary effort to bring a 59 km hydrogen railway section to Western Jutland.
Ringkøbing County is home to many renewable energy projects. Approximately 35-percent of this county uses wind energy to generate their electricity. Ringkøbing County is also the home of Demarks’ Hydrogen Innovation and Research Center.
In Japan, East Japan Railway Company, also known as JR East plans to roll out the first fuel cell-powered hydrogen train in the summer of 2007. The H2 train is powered by two 65-kilowatt fuel cells with a top speed of around 60 mph.
The Japanese hydrogen train is expected to run through the Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures, which are mountainous regions to the west of Tokyo.
In the U. S., an Denver-based hydrogen technology company called Vehicle Projects LLC has joined with the Army and four other companies to build a 109-metric ton hydrogen locomotive scheduled to roll out in 2008. Vehicle Projects LLC has already successfully completed other projects for the military and Department of Energy such as a fuel-cell powered mine-locomotive and a $4.5 million mine loader.
In just a few short years, the chug of black smoke from passing locomotives may be history as much quieter H2 trains will be gracing our landscapes and bringing commerce to our cities. And what can be wrong with that?