Germany is all set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train. To be operational from next year, the Coradia iLint, as it is being called, will emit not pollutants but only steam. It will replace the country’s 4000 diesel trains.

Manufactured by the French company Alstom, the iLint is powered by huge lithium ion batteries which receive their energy from a hydrogen fuel tank on the roof of the train. Hydrogen is burned with oxygen to produce energy with the only by-product being water.

Also called Hydrail, the train can travel almost 500 miles per day at speeds of up to 87mph and the only sound it will give off will come from its wheels and air resistance. The train was first presented at Berlin’s InnoTrans trade show in August this year.

Nasa has used liquid hydrogen to propel its rockets into space since the 1970s. The huge cloud that erupts when the shuttles takes off is not smoke but steam.