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16 Feb 2024

Stadler has received another order from California worth $127m

Amy Power
Stadler has received another order from California worth $127m

An order for six more hydrogen-powered passenger trainsets has been received by Stadler Rail from California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans). This order is worth $127m and it will be hugely beneficial to the growth of the hydrogen transport industry.

The design of the trains is based on Stadler’s Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train (FLIRT) concept and Caltrans has stated that this design makes the train more efficient. It is this design that makes it more efficient as, the train is lighter as well as more affordable in comparison to other locomotive-hauled coaches, which are designed in a more traditional way.

Caltrans placed the order back in 2019 and the company chose the FLIRT H2 train due to the benefits it offers both to the environment and to the transport industry. These benefits include the train’s ability to offer a maximum speed of 79mph and its physical design, which consists of two cars that have a power pack in between them that holds the fuel cells and the hydrogen tank and finally, the train has space to seat one hundred and eight passengers.

The most recent order follows a previous one made in 2023, so Caltrans is estimating that the new trains will be ready to enter revenue service by 2027. At this point, the first trains to be put into use will go to a route set out between Merced and Sacramento. This route will work along the future Valley Rail service and Amtrak San Joaquins services. These routes will eventually become connected to the state’s first section of high-speed rail line. The trains will also be performing demonstrations on corridors that run throughout California and these trains will run with intercity and regional rail partners.

Buying these hydrogen-powered  trains from Stadler was possible through the funding provided by California’s $10bn, multi-year zero-emission vehicle package. This package provides the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) with the ability to access clean bus and rail equipment and infrastructure, through either purchasing it or leasing it.

California Transport Secretary, Toks Omishakin, commented on the fleet expansion showing that the state was “serious about deploying innovative and sustainable transportation options for the people of this state.”

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