The Netherlands – A tender for four hydrogen trains, with an option for two more, has been published by Arriva Netherlands for use on regional lines in the northern Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland.
Additionally, the agreement will provide maintenance coverage for trains through 2035, with an option for an extension.
A concession to manage regional services in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland was granted to Arriva in December 2020. By 2035, the contract mandates the use of zero-emission, hydrogen-powered rolling stock. The Dutch province of Groningen is a strong proponent of hydrogen, and it has plans to construct a hydrogen production facility there as well as participate in a wind farm in the North Sea.
Arriva Netherlands believes that if it acquires experience operating hydrogen trains and if this proves to be effective, the regional public transport authority will enforce the replacement of diesel traction by hydrogen traction in the subsequent concession, which would begin in 2035. It would take 51 trains to replace the current fleet.
The new hydrogen trains will also increase fleet capacity once regular passenger services between Veendam and Stadskanaal with a direct connection to Groningen are resumed. They will continue to operate according to the regular schedule for the time being. Currently, this line is only used by The Star Railway Preservation Society.
The tendering process would be built on direct negotiations with bidders. On January 20, 2023, proposals must be submitted. Bids must remain valid for at least four months after submission.