The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) and Stadler unveiled the first hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 passenger train at APTA EXPO 2023 in Orlando, Fla. The passenger train is a Zero-Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) that will be launched into Arrow fleet as part of Metrolink service from Redlands to San Bernardino in late 2024.
SBCTA serves one of the fastest-growing economic and population centers in the country, as well as one of the more challenged air quality basins in North America. In 2019, SBCTA and Stadler signed the first-ever contract to develop a fully compliant hydrogen-powered train in the U.S.
SBCTA Board Vice President and Chino Hills City Councilmember Ray Marquez attended the unveiling. He described the FLIRT H2 as “a game changer when it comes to sustainable, alternative-energy passenger rail in the U.S.”
“More than a decade ago, SBCTA recognized a need in our community to not only expand passenger rail service, but to come up with a greener alternative. This partnership gets us there,” Marquez said. “We’re also inspired by the innovation, engineering and brilliance of our partners at Stadler. The FLIRT H2 is a 21st century marvel and something that we’ll be admiring for decades to come.”
Eventually, SBCTA notes the ZEMU will replace the low-emission Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) that have run on the eastern nine-mile portion of the Metrolink Line since its opening in 2022.
“We identified the DMU version of the Arrow vehicles as the interim solution to launch service but had zero-emissions as the final goal, making the FLIRT H2 the ultimate solution,” Marquez said.