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Governments and energy companies around the world are betting on clean hydrogen playing a leading role in efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, though its future uses and costs remain uncertain.
Saudi Arabia might soon roll out hydrogen-powered trains as the country aims to transform the transportation system into a more sustainable and efficient one.
Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) has begun testing hydrogen trains with French rail giant Alstom. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September 2022 to develop hydrogen train solutions tailored for Saudi Arabia.
“The step is part of plans to move to a more sustainable transport system that adopts the latest smart technologies,” said Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabian Minister of Transportation and Logistics and chairman of the SAR board of directors.
The kingdom is betting that hydrogen has a role in slashing road transport emissions alongside battery-powered electric vehicles.
The trains are expected to be operational in some years, marking a significant step forward for sustainable transportation in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Alstom has previously implemented the Riyadh Metro Lines 3, 4, 5, and 6, a significant project featuring six lines spanning 176 km and comprising 85 stations.
Al-Jasser told the Saudi Press Agency that the kingdom’s hydrogen train project is aligned with the Saudi Green Initiative, part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil.
The CEO of Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, called hydrogen trains one of the most pivotal innovations in modern sustainable transport.
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