Sulik: Hydrogen-powered Train Should Run in Slovakia by End of Electoral Term

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Economy Minister Richard Sulik (photo by TASR)

Nitra, May 20 (TASR) – People in Slovakia will have an opportunity to take a ride on the first and only hydrogen-powered passenger train in the world, as presented to the professional and general public by a company called Alstom in cooperation with the French-Slovak Chamber of Commerce.

“We can see huge interest in our solution on both the Slovak and Czech markets. Direct experience with a hydrogen-powered train will provide answers to various questions,” said Dan Kurucz, Alstom CEO for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Economy Minister Richard Sulik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) has confirmed interest in cooperation. “I believe that a hydrogen-powered train will start operating on the Nove Zamky-Prievidza line by the end of this electoral term,” he said. The Government last year approved a national hydrogen strategy in which it stipulated the framework of activities that it intends to support. These activities include a hydrogen-powered train, he added.

Over the course of two days, the Coradia iLint train will travel from Prievidza (Trencin region) via Topolcany (Nitra region), Nitra, Nove Zamky, Komarno (both Nitra region), Dunajska Streda (Trnava region), and Bratislava to Devinska Nova Ves. The train will then continue on to the Czech Republic.

Coradia iLint is the first passenger train in the world powered by a hydrogen-fuel cell that generates electricity for traction. This zero-emission engine has a very low noise level, with exhaust fumes composed solely of steam and condensed water. The train has been in commercial operation in Germany since 2018 and has also been tested in Austria and the Netherlands. Italy and France have already ordered hydrogen-powered trains. The train has been designed especially for non-electrified routes, so it is an ideal solution for many such stretches in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said Kurucz.

The partnership between Alstom and rail companies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is in line with the countries’ hydrogen strategies. Alstom is the first provider of high-speed technologies in the Czech Republic, operating seven high-speed Pendolino trains there.