The novelty of the hydrogen
The FNM Group and Trenord are among the main operators of integrated local public transport in Italy and transport over 800,000 passengers every day thanks to a large fleet of vehicles that in recent years is undergoing a gradual renewal.
In fact, FNM and Trenord are planning continuous actions to improve the service for their users, and to develop the territories and socio-economic systems they serve.
In this logic, FNM and Trenord have defined a highly innovative project that works on the social, industrial, territorial, environmental and transport dimensions, with three main objectives.
The development of an economic and industrial hydrogen supply chain , with applications starting from the mobility sector; the development of a territorial hydrogen supply chain , starting the energy conversion of a territory; the complete decarbonisation of a significant part of local public transport.
To this end, Valcamonica and the non-electrified railway line Brescia-Iseo-Edolo were identified as the development field of the « H2iseO »
One of the objectives of the project is the complete conversion of the line - now operated with diesel trains - to hydrogen trains, with a model that already allows the realization and sustainability of the investment today.
THE NEW TRAINS
The Board of Directors of FNM has approved the purchase of 6 hydrogen-powered electric trains , with the option to supply another 8. The investment has been preliminarily estimated at over 160 million+. The first of these trains, produced by Alstom, will be delivered by 2023 and will be leased to Trenord. The old diesel trains that will initially be replaced have been in service since the early 1990s (type: Aln 668).
The hydrogen-powered train is developed on the basis of the Alstom Coradia Stream platform; In fact, Alstom is currently the only rolling stock manufacturer to have built and put into commercial service passenger trains of this type (Coradia I-Lint trains in service in some areas of Germany). The Alstom Convoglio (in the planning phase) will be inspired by the Donizetti 4 speakers - 250/300 seats (currently already in service in the electrically powered version on the routes managed by Trenord), allowing to reduce delivery times and achieve possible synergies in the maintenance field.
" Hydrogen trains propel Trenord into the heart of the future - explains Trenord CEO, Marco Piuri -. With FNM supporting the investment in the role of Rosco, we begin today a green journey knowing that many in Italy and Europe will follow us What is happening in Lombardy is unprecedented in the history of the railway: the 222 new trains purchased by Regione and Ferrovie Nord are progressively entering service; now hydrogen trains push innovation even further, up to this transport decarbonisation project. Trenord's green turning point also foresees that, by 2023, the first battery electric trains will come into service, which will replace the old Diesel trains and will also be able to run on electrified networks. We feel part of a great development plan, supported by the Lombardy Region and in harmony with the guidelines of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, green travel knowing that many in Italy and Europe will follow us. What is happening in Lombardy is unprecedented in the history of the railway: the 176 new trains purchased by the Region and FerrovieNord and by the Ministry of Economic Development, which is preparing to launch the "National hydrogen strategy preliminary guidance ".
THE ITALIAN “HYDROGEN VALLEY”
" The H2iseO project is an important piece of a broader strategy of the FNM Group which wants to become the protagonist of the development of an integrated platform of mobility services, built according to criteria of environmental and economic sustainability, which system and create new connections in order to promote the well-being of citizens and the productivity of the territories. H2iseO is a very innovative project that aims to create a journey with zero environmental impact, through the decarbonisation of transport and the development of a territorial hydrogen supply chain. It is an initiative capable of creating a high added value in environmental, economic and social terms ".
This is the statement of Andrea Gibelli , the president of FNM who has commented on the idea of creating the Italian Hydrogen Valley.
The Brescia-Iseo-Edolo railway line which crosses Val Camonica has a 103 km route , managed by Ferrovienord (FNM Group) and is characterized by a simple non-electrified track, with a gauge of 1435mm. At the moment, 14 diesel trains are in service for a total of 51 trains per day with an average distance of 90,000 km / year / train.
The Board of Directors of FNM has analyzed the preliminary feasibility of the hydrogen production plants needed to activate the railway service.
The first hydrogen production, storage and distribution plant will be built by FNM in Iseo between 2021 and 2023. It will be built in the Trenord Depot area where trains are currently being refueled diesel, as well as the maintenance of the trains.
The feasibility plan, currently being finalized, provides for the initial use of Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) technology, from methane / biomethane, with the capture and storage of the CO2 generated, for the production of “Blue hydrogen”.
By 2025 , one or two further production plants and distribution of hydrogen from electrolysis (so-called green hydrogen) will also be built along the route of the railway, in partnership with energy operators of primary standing with which FNM is defining an agreement.
THE THREE PHASES
The Development of the Project plans to build in three phases the first Italian " Hydrogen Valley " along the non-electrified railway axis of Val Camonica.
The first phase involves the design, production and approval of 6 hydrogen trains for service on the Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line to replace the current diesel trains in service. It will be necessary to design and commission the hydrogen production, transport and distribution plants, through "steam reforming" (methane + water vapor) at the Trenord plant in Iseo; the first of these trains, produced by Alstom, will be delivered by 2023 and will be leased to Trenord.
The second phase provides for the 'introduction of an additional 8 hydrogen trains , in order to carry out the entire service on the Brescia-Iseo-Edolo line and replace the current GTWs Stadler diesel (ATR 125 and 115). We will then proceed with the design and commissioning of the production plants through electrolysis thanks to the involvement of A2A in Brescia (waste-to-energy plant);
The third phase , on the other hand, provides for the extension of the hydrogen transformation also for buses and private logistics managed by FNM Group.
The end of the project to enter the convoys and adapt the plants is scheduled for 2025 in anticipation of the 2026 Winter Olympics.