Arriva Netherlands opens tender for hydrogen trains

For use on regional lines in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland in the north, ARRIVA Netherlands has released a tender for four hydrogen trains, with an option for two more.

Additionally, the deal will cover train maintenance through 2035, with the possibility to extend it.

In December 2020, Arriva received a concession to run regional services in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland. The contract stipulates the operation of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission rolling stock by 2035. The Dutch province of Groningen is a big supporter of hydrogen, taking part in a wind farm in the North Sea and planning to build a hydrogen production facility there.

Arriva Netherlands believes that the regional public transport authority will mandate the replacement of diesel traction with hydrogen traction in the following concession, which would begin in 2035, if it gains experience operating hydrogen trains and if this proves successful. To replace the current fleet, 51 trains would need to be ordered.

When regular passenger services are resumed between Veendam and Stadskanaal with a direct connection to Groningen, the new hydrogen trains will also provide additional fleet capacity. For the time being, they will run in accordance with the usual schedule. The Star railway preservation society is the sole user of this line at the moment.

Direct negotiation with bidders will be the foundation of the tendering process. In order to evaluate bids, the following weighting will be used:

• Price: 70

• Number of seats: 10

• Delivery date: 10

• Distance to maintenance workshop: 10

The deadline for submission of proposals is January 20, 2023. After submission, bids must be valid for at least four months.