A new design of hybrid fuel cell-battery light rail vehicle debuted in the Chinese city of Baoding, Hebei province, on 2 March.
Developed by the Beijing Jingtou Rail Transit Technology Research Institute and Hebei Jingche Rail Transit Vehicle Equipment Co., the 30m two-car train is described as ‘a new generation of light rail vehicle’ and includes the capability for driverless operation. With a claimed axle load of 12t, the new high-floor railcar has a maximum operational speed of 80km/h (50mph) and is designed for multiple-unit operation.
“Using hydrogen fuel cells as the main power source, the train can be charged fully in 15 minutes, for a driving range of no less than 100km,” said Zhang Hong, Deputy General Manager of Beijing Jingtou Rail Transit Technology Research Institute, adding that the new zero-emission train can provide a reduction in carbon emissions of 40t/year compared to traditional vehicles.
The interior of the prototype includes 2+1 seating, and includes passenger innovations such as a ‘smart window’ that can transform from a normal window into an opaque digital passenger information display at the touch of a button.
Qian Zhaoyong, General Manager of Hebei Jingche Railway Vehicle Equipment Co., said the new hybrid has many applications for Chinese cities, including the connection of urban transit systems to suburban railways (Tram-Train), as well as airport shuttles and commuter and tourist lines (Very Light Rail).