Caltrans signs $80m contract with Stadler Rail for hydrogen trains in California

Caltrans has signed an $80m contract with Stadler Rail to deliver what it claims will be the first zero-emission, hydrogen intercity passenger trains in North America.

The contract includes a base order of $80m for the first four trainsets with options for up to 25 additional trainsets that can be used throughout California.

The vehicles will be based on Stadler’s Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train (FLIRT) concept, extending work done with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to develop self-powered multiple-unit trains using zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells without the need of a separate locomotive.

The purchase is funded through Governor Gavin Newsom’s $10bn, multiyear zero-emission vehicle package, which included $407m for the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) to demonstrate and purchase or lease state-of-the-art clean bus and rail equipment and infrastructure.

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