Alstom is working on what will be the first fuel cell powered regional train in Germany when it goes into operation in late 2017.

Renewable Energy Focus reports that the Coradia iLint train is replacing a diesel power plant in order to unveil the first zero emissions train, with the fuel cells introduced offering the same level of performance.

Fuel cell train - Pic from FuelCell Works
The first train is expected to enter service on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony starting in December 2017.

During acceleration phases the fuel cell power output will be mainly used to supply traction power demand from the traction inverter and the onboard systems power demand via the auxiliary converter. During these phases power from the lithium-ion battery will be used to boost acceleration.

The level of fuel cell power depends on the amplitude and duration of high power demand; short acceleration phases with limited power demand will be mainly supplied by the battery.

During phases of lower acceleration or coasting, part of the fuel cell power will be used to recharge the battery, next to its power supply to the onboard systems, via the auxiliary converter. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the fuel cell is powered down to only supply the onboard systems and auxiliary converter, reducing hydrogen consumption.