Netherlands: Vegetable oil-powered train with hybrid diesel conversion ordered

Arriva and Stadler have signed a contract for the construction of world-first zero emission trains suitable for use on partially electrified tracks. Under the EUR 170 million contract, Stadler will deliver 18 Flirtino trains that will be put into service in the north of the Netherlands starting 2020.
The Flirtino is a flexible train that can be transformed from a HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) hybrid diesel train into a zero-emissions train that uses partial electrification to charge batteries that keep the train running on the parts of the tracks without electrification. This train is the first of its kind in the world that combines regenerative technology with an HVO engine that can be replaced with an extra big battery for non-electrified parts of the track.
Partial electrification is a cost effective option to reach zero emissions operation for railway lines where it is not possible or the business case cannot be made to deliver full electrification. This is often the case on railway lines where there is a high number of bridges and viaducts. The Flirtino is the first zero-emissions train to run in the world that runs on only partially electrified railway lines and the first train that runs on HVO until partial electrification is finished.
It is expected that construction of partial electrification can be finished in 2025 after which the trains will be transformed into zero-emissions trains. In addition to the 18 brand new zero emissions trains, the existing 51-train fleet is being completely renovated and also equipped with advanced battery packs. This creates a complete fleet of 69 hybrid trains.
“As one of Europe’s largest transport operators, we are proud to be delivering into service world-first Flirtino trains for our Dutch customers. This is a major step towards creating a future where transport across Europe is cleaner, greener and more sustainable, Arriva Group CEO Manfred Rudhart said.

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