SBCTA Unveils First-of-its-Kind Hydrogen-Powered Train at APTA EXPO


At APTA’s 2023 EXPO in Orlando, FL, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) and Stadler unveiled the first hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 passenger train—a Zero-Emission Multiple Unit (ZEMU) that will be launched into the Arrow fleet as part of Metrolink service from Redlands to San Bernardino in late 2024.

The unveiling represents more than 10 years of planning and development by SBCTA, which saw the need for efficient, sustainable passenger rail as part of the regional transportation ecosystem. The agency serves one of the fastest-growing economic and population centers in the U.S., as well as one of the more challenged air quality basins in North America.

Ray Marquez, SBCTA board vice president and Chino Hills city council­member, was at the unveiling and 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,” Marquez said. “This partnership gets us there. 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, the ZEMU will replace the low-emission Diesel Multiple Units that have run on the eastern nine-mile portion of the Metrolink Line since its opening in 2022.