After a few false starts in the past decade with numerous railway operators, the Spanish FEVE Railway is experimenting with a fuel-cell powered train on a short non-electrified rail line. For those advocating alternative fuel for the Valley Interurban, it should fell worth noting that the maximum speed than can be achieved with a fuel cell powered train is a mere 25/kph.; hardly the speed needed for a 21st century version of the interurban.
Fuel cell tram trial
24 June 2010
SPAIN: Metre-gauge operator FEVE is planning to start trials with fuel cell traction between Ribadesella and Llovio on its non-electrified Santander – Oviedo route by the end of this year.
A hydrogen fuel cell is to be installed in a 1970s tramcar to power four traction motors, capable of operating at up to 25 km/h and making 15 return trips of 10 km every day.
The fuel cell is being developed by Cidaut, a research foundation specialising in transport and energy that draws on the academic expertise of the University of Valladolid. It weighs 80 kg, including a 10 kg fuel tank.
‘The best thing is that emissions are zero’, project leader Alberto Montes told <cite>El Mundo</cite>. FEVE’s Director of International & Institutional Relations José Antonio Sebastián said that the new technology could be used on future light rail networks.
As well as Cartgena – Los Nietos, where tenders have been called for four vehicles (RG 2.10 p16), FEVE plans to convert routes in Asturias, Galicia and Cantabria to tram-train operations.