Imagine a nearly silent train that glides along its tracks emitting nothing more toxic than water.
That train is a reality.
In March, Germany conducted successful tests of the world's first "Hydrail" - a hydrogen powered, zero-emission train.
"The new train is 60% less noisy than a traditional diesel train, completely emission free," said Jens Sprotte of Alstom, the French producer of the train. "Its speed and the possibility to transport passengers match the performance of a diesel train."
"The only sound it gives off comes from the wheels and air resistance," Sprotte added.
Here's how the new technology works:
The Hydrail uses the same equipment as a diesel train but substitutes hydrogen as its fuel source. Large fuel cells sitting on top of the train combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, which is then transferred to lithium ion batteries.
The train can travel up to 500 miles per day on a single tank of hydrogen, carrying 300 passengers at a time.
The first operational trains will roll out by the beginning of 2018, providing a green alternative to the 4,000 diesel trains currently operating in Germany. According to the EU, about 20% of Europe's current rail traffic runs on diesel.