Stadler is to deliver the first narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion for Italy
Italian railway operators Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (ARST) and Ferrovie della Calabria (FdC) have awarded Stadler two framework agreements for the supply and maintenance of 10 hydrogen trains for ARST in Sardinia and 15 similar vehicles for FdC in Calabria. This will make Stadler the first train manufacturer in the world to supply narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion. In addition, after delivering the FLIRT H2 for American passenger transport, Stadler is now also supplying hydrogen trains to Europe for the first time. As initial call-off orders from the framework agreements, ARST and FdC signed two contracts with Stadler in Rome today for the delivery of the first 12 hydrogen trains, 6 for each of the Italian companies.
Following two public tenders launched in June, Italian railway operators ARST in Sardinia and FdC in Calabria have each awarded Stadler a framework agreement for the design, production, delivery and maintenance of 10 and 15 trains respectively. The vehicles will be equipped with ecological fuel-cell and hydrogen propulsion and be dedicated to regional and suburban services for the narrow-gauge (950-mm) network in the two Italian regions. Both projects are being financed with EU funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
Initial call-off orders from these framework agreements have been placed for the supply of 6 hydrogen trains for ARST and a further 6 vehicles for FdC. The vehicles will be developed and built at Stadler 's headquarters in Bussnang (Switzerland).
The two framework agreements and initial call-off orders will enable Stadler to further strengthen its leading role in the decarbonisation of rail transport. Stadler is the world's first railway manufacturer to develop, build and deliver narrow-gauge multiple units with hydrogen propulsion. For Stadler, this is also the first order for hydrogen trains in Europe. It follows Stadler's delivery of the FLIRT H2, the world’s first hydrogen train, for American passenger transport. The two orders from ARST and FdC are also the first contracts for narrow-gauge multiple units with hydrogen propulsion for use in Italy.
Ansgar Brockmeyer, Executive Vice President Marketing & Sales of Stadler, commented: “Stadler enjoys a long and innovative partnership with ARST and FdC. We are proud to be working together to drive forward the decarbonisation of rail transport in Italy. The new narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion are a world premiere and will pioneer sustainable rail transport on narrow-gauge lines worldwide. We would like to thank ARST and FdC for their trust in us and look forward to expanding our partnership even further in the future.”
Visualisations of the new hydrogen trains for ARST (left) and FdC (right).
More about the trains
The vehicles consist of two passenger cars, whose lightweight aluminium construction helps to increase the train’s energy efficiency, and a power pack to house the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks, as well as other technical equipment.
With an overall length of around 50 metres, the new trains have 89 seats per vehicle for a total of 155 passengers transported, and are fully accessible for people with reduced mobility. Furthermore, the new vehicles offer specific areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs and bicycles positioned near the access and exit doors, as well as a PRM toilet compliant with TSI standards.
Stadler: a reliable partner for Italian rail transport
The new contracts confirm Stadler’s leadership in Italy for the design, supply, commissioning and homologation of narrow-gauge railway vehicles. The company has now received orders for more than 130 trains that have been or are being supplied to operators such as Ferrovie Appulo Lucane in the Apulia and Basilicata Regions, Ente Autonomo Volturno in the Campania Region and Ferrovia Vigezzina-Domodossola in the Piedmont Region.
Stadler is strengthening its position in Italy in all segments of rail transport. It has recently received new orders for the supply of bimodal locomotives for Trenitalia, a new series of trams for ATM in Milan and an additional fleet of metro narrow-gauge vehicles for EAV.