The Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer, Stadler Rail, is officially a world record-holder. Stadler’s hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 train set the world record for the most distance achieved by a pilot hydrogen fuel cell electric multiple unit passenger train without refueling or recharging. The FLIRT H2 train traveled 1,741.7 miles without refueling or recharging.

World Record

Hydrogen-powered train
Stadler’s hydrogen-powered, FLIRT H2, train sets Guinness World Record; Photo: Stadler

Stadler’s hydrogen train FLIRT set the Guinness World Record at a track in Colorado during testing. The journey of achieving the world record started on the evening of March 20 when the train started its first laps, and a team of engineers continued driving the train in shifts throughout the night and into the next day. Stadler’s team finally completed the world record at 5:23 pm on March 22. For 46 hours, the train only ran on one tank filling.



Stadler believes there is great international interest in sustainable public transportation. They say the FLIRT H2 is well-received on the market. As the world looks for sustainable options for public transportation, companies have demonstrated the ability to manufacture electric buses. But, a train holds more passengers.

While electric trains do exist, additional infrastructure is needed if a country wants to build them. For example, overhead powerlines are required for an electric train to work. In addition, electricity used for the cables could come from harmful pollutants like coal or natural gas.

This is where hydrogen-powered trains could thrive. FLIRT contains a power pack car between two passenger cars. The power pack stores hydrogen in fuel tanks and turns it into electricity. Also in the power pack are fuel cells that convert the hydrogen into electricity. The battery supplies the drive power and the brake power. Therefore, hydrogen allows the train to move and makes sure it can come to a stop.

Hydrogen-powered train
FLIRT H2 uses hydrogen to power its drive and brakes; Photo: Stadler

Additionally, FLIRT H2 seats 108 passengers plus standing room. Stadler designed the train to handle extremely high temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius.

With success in Germany, Italy, Australia, and Lithuania, the U.S. hopes to bring the emission-free train to the states. In 2023, California’s Transport Authority ordered four FLIRT H2 with an option of an additional six in early 2024. These trains are bigger than the trains that set the Guinness World Record. These vehicles were made for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. The FLIRT H2 that the state of California ordered has more passenger capacity.

CEO of Stadler US Inc. said, “By using hydrogen as a clean energy source, we are actively contributing to environmental protection and shaping the sustainable and zero emission travel of tomorrow.”