Press release

Grant for zero-emission freight trains on the Rauma Railway

Through Møre and Romsdal County Council's program “Skaparkraft”, Norwegian Hydrogen AS and Onrail have received grants of NOK 450,000 to carry out a feasibility study, as part of the project "Hydrogen on the Rauma Railway". Norwegian Hydrogen and Onrail are partners in the project.

Yvonne Wold, the mayor of Rauma and Andreas W. Østigård, Project Manager.

Yvonne Wold, the mayor of Rauma and Andreas W. Østigård, Project Manager, at the freight terminal in Åndalsnes, Rauma.

Realizing a zero-emission solution

The purpose of the study is to investigate how to realize a zero-emission solution for the freight train on the Rauma Railway using hydrogen as fuel. The feasibility study will be carried out in the first half of 2023, and the grant of NOK 450,000 will cover half of the costs. Collaboration and dialogue with various technology suppliers will be a central part of the implementation of the project.

The result of the project will provide a decision base for further development and realization of the use of hydrogen as an emission-free energy carrier on the Rauma Railway. Today, the Rauma Railway is one of the few railway lines in Norway which are not electrified.

In the long term, Norwegian Hydrogen wants to produce green hydrogen in Rauma. Then it may also be necessary to transport the hydrogen from Rauma by freight train.

"Rauma has been interesting to Norwegian Hydrogen for a long time, for a number of reasons. The combination of available power, the fact that the area is an important transportation hub, and that it is the end station of the Rauma Railway make it interesting to establish production of green hydrogen here. We are therefore happy to receive support from the County Council for this project. It will contribute greatly in enabling us to explore the right solutions," says Andreas Wenaas Østigård, Project Manager at Norwegian Hydrogen.

The goal for Onrail is to be able to offer emission-free freight transport to their customers.

"Onrail runs most of its trains with electric locomotives, with the exception of the Rauma Railway, which is not electrified. We are now investigating how hydrogen can be the solution in the future. There are no hydrogen freight trains in Europe today, which makes the challenge even more exciting. In Norway, the railway regulations must also be updated so that train companies such as Onrail can try out new types of energy carriers," says Henning Aandal, CEO of Onrail.

The support from the program “Skaparkraft” contributes to a faster pace of investigating the use of hydrogen on the Rauma Railway, by sharing risk on the costs associated with developing the solutions and the market for hydrogen.

"We really appreciate the support, and it will be exciting to see where the project takes us. The Norwegian rail network is close to being fully electrified, and now both authorities and private players must work together to get to zero emissions with the help of green hydrogen. And then it’s obvious that we should start with the most beautiful of them all, namely the Rauma Railway," Jens Berge, CEO of Norwegian Hydrogen.

Yvonne would, the mayor of Rauma municipality, is also happy with the grant and to see the work moving forward. "I am very pleased that the county council sees how important it is to find zero-emission solutions for the Rauma Railway. I think it is exciting when freight operators and the hydrogen industry get to explore the possibilities for green hydrogen operation," says the mayor.

About Onrail

Onrail is a train company with a license and safety certificate awarded by the Norwegian Railway Authority. The company has re-established the freight train between Åndalsnes and Oslo. From February 2023, Onrail will also operate the railway lines between Oslo and Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim. The company has ordered the environmentally friendly hybrid locomotive EuroDual.

About Skaparkraft
Skaparkraft is Møre and Romsdal County Council's 10-year investment programme, aimed towards strengthening the export industries across the county.

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