The first Stadler hydrogen-fuel-cell powered FLIRT H2 trainset has reached San Bernardino, California, more than 20 months after its unveiling in Berlin and nine months following its U.S. debut. The trainset is set to operate on Southern California’s Arrow commuter rail line, according to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.

Journey of the Zero-Emission Multiple-Unit (ZEMU) Trainset

The groundbreaking trainset arrived on June 21, after departing from Pueblo, Colorado, where it underwent testing, on June 18. Its journey began with a debut at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin in September 2022. After initial testing in Europe, the trainset arrived in Galveston, Texas, by ship in fall 2023.

Testing and World Record Recognition

The FLIRT H2 trainset commenced testing at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado. It made a public appearance at the 2023 American Public Transportation Association Expo in Orlando, Florida, in October, before returning to Pueblo for further testing. During this phase, Guinness World Records acknowledged the trainset for traveling more than 1,700 miles without refueling or recharging.

Final Phase of Testing and Integration

With its arrival in San Bernardino, the trainset is poised to begin its final testing phase. This includes trips on the 9-mile Arrow route between San Bernardino and Redlands, California, as well as Metrolink system checks. The aim is to integrate the hydrogen-powered trainset into regular service later this year, alongside the existing diesel-powered FLIRT trainsets.

The introduction of the zero-emission FLIRT H2 trainset marks a significant step towards sustainable transportation in Southern California. Residents and visitors can look forward to experiencing the future of eco-friendly commuting on the Arrow line in the coming months.