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New H2 Train for SBCTA Shown in the US at APTA EXPO

Stadler and San Bernardino County Transit Authority are presenting Stadler’s first hydrogen passenger train for the first time in the United States at APTA EXPO in Orlando.

New H2 Train for SBCTA Shown in the US at APTA EXPO

The FLIRT H2 for SBCTA is one of Stadler’s newest additions to its alternative drive portfolio and will start operations in Southern California’s Inland Empire in 2024. The Zero-Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) is equipped with a modular power pack that is capable of powering a four-car train. The power pack contains the hydrogen power equipment, from the fuel cells and batteries to the hydrogen tanks. This means that hydrogen technology is spatially clearly separated from the passenger compartments of the train.

Rail transport is the most sustainable mobility solution of all. In the fight against climate change, shifting transportation of passengers and goods to the rails therefore plays a key role. As infrastructure electrification is time consuming and costly a different approach is needed.

The Stadler partnership and introduction of a hydrogen-powered ZEMU in the U.S. reflects SBCTA’s vision and leadership in bringing innovative transportation solutions to the forefront. The agency serves one of the most vibrant population and economic centers in the country and had the foresight to insist that any new rail service within the region break the mold when it comes to sustainable transit technology.

The opportunity presented itself with the new Arrow Line – a nine-mile rail extension from Redlands to Metrolink’s popular San Bernardino Line. SBCTA is already deploying Stadler’s FLIRT diesel multiple unit (DMU) on the Redlands Line and in November 2019, partnered with Stadler to design and build the first hydrogen-powered FLIRT.

The contract marked a key milestone for Stadler, as it played a significant part in the effort to bring zero emission technology to passenger rail in the United States. The FLIRT H2 is scheduled to start operation in 2024.

More about the train
The first FLIRT H2 consists of two electrically powered end cars and a power pack in the middle. This power pack contains the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks. The fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity. This electricity is sent to a traction battery. The battery then supplies the drive of the vehicle with the power required at any given time. This configuration also allows for recuperation of brake energy back to the battery.

Therefore, the battery stores both braking power and power from the hydrogen cells. Thanks to Stadler’s innovative propulsion solution, the FLIRT H2 is able to operate all day without re-fueling. The train offers seating for 108 passengers and additional generous standing room. The maximum speed is 130 km/h (79 mph). Furthermore, the train is designed to handle operation in high ambient temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).

Presentation at APTA EXPO
The FLIRT H2 for SBCTA is one of two Stadler vehicle highlights on display at APTA EXPO and can be viewed upon request.

The official presentation of the FLIRT H2 vehicle for media by Stadler and SBCTA will take place at 11 am on October 9th 2023. Please e-mail the Media Contact, if you would like to participate.

The data sheet for the FLIRT H2 as well as further media material from Stadler can be found here.

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