Alstom presents world’s first hydrogen train in Poland
The Coradia iLint train produces zero waste, according to Alstom – only water. The shell of the revolutionary new train is produced at the company’s Alstom Konstal plant in Katowice, before being sent to Germany for assembly.
Alstom presents world’s first hydrogen train in Poland
The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train, the Coradia iLint, has made its debut on the Polish Railway Research Institute’s test track in Żmigród, near Wrocław. Manufactured by Alstom, the France-based global leader in green and smart mobility, the train’s debut comes in the wake of the announcement of Poland’s National Recovery Plan (Krajowy Plan Odbudowy), which includes provisions for the introduction of thirty low-emission trains for Polish regional operators by 2026. Alstom Coradia iLint is the world’s first and only operational passenger train powered by hydrogen fuel cells, according to the company. The emission-free train’s hallmarks are that it is quiet and emits only water vapor and condensation. It features several different innovations, such as clean energy conversion and efficient energy supply.
“Coradia iLint trains represent a huge opportunity for Poland to reduce CO2 emissions and even decarbonise rail transport,” said Sławomir Nalewajka, Managing Director of Alstom in Poland, Ukraine and Baltics. “Thanks to hydrogen-powered public transport, regional operators can be beacons of modern mobility, as experienced recently in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria – that have tested and are implementing or planning to implement hydrogen trains. If Poland builds refueling stations and announces tenders for hydrogen trains, the Alstom Konstal site (in Katowice) will have all the tools necessary to manufacture such a fleet,” he added.
The Coradia iLint – assembled by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, with body shells produced at the site in Katowice – is based on the diesel train family Coradia Lint, said the company in a statement. “The diesel traction has been replaced by fuel cell technology, allowing the train to operate cleanly with a performance matching that of regular Coradia Lint diesel multiple units. This means that these trains can operate the same timetable as the diesel ones. Likewise, passenger capacity can reach 300 passengers and the train has a range of 1,000 kilometres, as already demonstrated during daily operational service.”
The hydrogen train is specifically designed for use on non-electrified routes. “Across the European Union, almost half (46%) of railway is not electrified, which leaves lines that require diesel or alternatives, such as hydrogen,” says Alstom. “Coradia iLint uses the existing infrastructure without the need to invest in electrification. This is important for low density lines. It provides clean and sustainable train operations while maintaining a high level of performance. This is of great importance for the environment – replacing one diesel regional train with a hydrogen train will reduce the yearly CO2 emission equivalent to 400 cars.” Alstom has sold 41 Coradia iLint trains in Germany in order to replace the existing diesel fleet. The first hydrogen series trains will be in regular service there from 2022. Orders have also been placed in France and Italy, and the train has been tested in the Netherlands and Austria.
Poland’s hydrogen market is substantial, says Alstom, “as Poland is the fifth largest producer of hydrogen worldwide. It produces 14% of all hydrogen generated in Europe, which is used predominantly in industrial processes. Demand for this type of fuel is growing steadily and hydrogen could become a viable, clean and widely available source of energy. As an important hydrogen producer in Europe, Poland has the opportunity to take advantage of this trend and develop its own technological and industrial solutions and to export hydrogen to other countries.”
More than ¾ of companies plan to keep hybrid work model after the pandemic
77% of companies plan to permanently implement a hybrid work model, according to international real estate advisory company Colliers International in a new report entitled ‘The office – an opportunity and a challenge’. “For nearly 1.5 years, since the beginning of the pandemic, the hybrid work model has permanently established itself in the labour market,” says the report, adding that the vast majority of companies would like to stick to this model in ‘the post-pandemic reality’.
The report is based on the results of the second edition of a survey conducted among nearly 200 tenants of office space in the largest cities in Poland. The survey aimed to find out their views on the current situation as well as their predictions for the future model of work. Most of the companies participating in the survey are related to the IT industry, business services and banking, insurance and investments.
Survey results show that 60% of companies currently work remotely, 34% work in a hybrid mode, and only 6% work exclusively in the office. Organizations most often indicated three or four days a week as the scope of remote work in the hybrid model (67% and 49% respectively). “The hybrid model… has worked well in most cases, even after the pandemic is over,” says Kamila Barabasz, senior associate in the office agency department at Colliers. “Employers most often declared that they would like to keep working remotely two or three days in a week – 35% and 33% respectively,” she added.
“While companies have recognized the undoubted advantages of allowing employees to work out of the office for a specified period of time, the remote model also presents many challenges,” says Katarzyna Włodek-Makos, senior associate in Office Agency at Colliers. “The main one is to maintain a sense of belonging to the company among employees, which was indicated by 65% of the respondents, as well as teamwork efficiency, which was reported by 42% of companies.” Another important issue mentioned is the challenge of ensuring a work-life balance, cited by 61% of respondents. 53% pointed to the problematic process of introducing new employees who have limited opportunities to learn about the team and the organization’s culture. Among the companies which have decided to return to the office, June and September were the most common months mentioned.
National Bank governor sees no need for monetary intervention at present
Poland has no need for immediate monetary policy reaction to potential overheating of the economy, central bank governor Adam Glapinski said, as quoted by wpolityce.pl. “We will have to act with monetary policy several quarters ahead (of a potential overheating of the economy) in order to prevent it,” he stated. “But we aren’t there at that moment.” Earlier in June, Glapiński said it is “way too early” to consider the normalization of monetary policy.
Rating for Poland’s development fund same as country’s rating
Global ratings agency S&P assigned Poland’s state development fund PFR ‘A-‘ for foreign currency rating and ‘A’ for local currency rating with a stable outlook, mirroring the outlook for Poland, according to national press agency PAP. “The PFR Group is a development institution, 100% under state control, coordinating and implementing development and aid programmes on behalf of the Polish government,” S&P said in a statement. “We believe that there is an almost 100% probability that the PFR group would receive extraordinary support from the government, if needed, equating the group’s credit profile with the rating profile of Poland.”
As stated on PFR’s website, “the Polish Development Fund is a group of financial and advisory institutions for entrepreneurs, local governments and individuals investing in the sustainable social and economic development of the country. Our priorities include: infrastructure investments, innovations, entrepreneurship development, export and foreign expansion of Polish enterprises, support for local governments, implementation of the Employee Capital Plans programme and handling foreign investments.”