Commissioning of Phase 1 of the “world’s first” fuel cell-powered tram system is underway in China.
Ballard Power System’ fuel cell modules will power five trams manufactured by China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) on the new tram line located in Gaoming District, Foshan City.
Phase 1 of the Gaoming Tram Project, which has been under construction for approximately 30 months, is 6.5 kilometres long and has 10 stations.
Trials of the tram system have been underway over the past month and commercial operation will begin following its commissioning.
The project management team, led by Foshan Metro, plans to run four trams during peak hours, with departures every 10 minutes.
Each tram consists of three couch bodies with a total carrying capacity of 394 people, maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour and range of 125 kilometres between hydrogen refuellings.
Phase 2 of the Gaoming Tram Project will add another five trams and extend the Gaoming tram line to a total of 17.4 kilometres, with 20 stations along the route.
Phase 2 may be operational as early as 2021.
Earlier this month a ‘Three Rights Transfer’ celebration was held in Foshan City to recognise the handover of ‘three rights’ – command, localised management, and equipment utilisation – marking the official transfer of the Gaoming Tram Project from the construction stage to the operational management stage.
Speaking about the project entering the operational management phase, Alfred Wong, Ballard’s Managing Director in Asia Pacific, said, “This is not only a milestone for the project itself, but is also a big step forward for hydrogen fuel cells in China’s rail sector.”
“Ballard looks forward to commercial operation of the tram line, which will bring a new zero emission transit experience to residents of Gaoming District, Foshan City.”