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Hydrogen-Powered Trains Roll Out, and a Snapshot of the Housing Market

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The week ahead

It’s HBO versus Netflix at the Emmys. Mario Draghi discusses eurozone banking supervision, and the Eni and Royal Dutch Shell corruption trial continues.

Trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells are being pitched in Germany as an alternative to stringing wires on rail lines that are not electrified.CreditCreditDavid Hecker/EPA, via Shutterstock

Here’s what to expect in the week ahead:


Hydrogen-powered trains begin service in Germany.

In a breakthrough for a green fuel, two hydrogen-powered trains are expected to go into commercial service Monday on a rail line in northern Germany near Hamburg. The trains, which will serve cities including Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven, will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells that generate electricity through a chemical reaction. The trains are being promoted as a cheaper alternative to stringing wires on rail lines that are not electrified. Hydrogen-powered vehicles produce no emissions of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for climate change, or other pollutants. Despite substantial support from Germany and other governments, high costs and other obstacles have so far limited use of the gas as a transportation fuel. The trains were made by Alstom, a French company that has received extensive government support for developing them. Alstom officials said they plan to eventually have 14 trains on the line in Lower Saxony and that they are in talks with rail operators in other German regions and internationally to sell more trains.

— Stanley Reed


Who will take home the Emmys?

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on NBC at 8 p.m. on Monday. For once, it's a wide-open year for best drama and comedy. In the drama category, it's a showdown between HBO's "Game of Thrones" and Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale." In comedy, will it be FX's "Atlanta" or Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?" One big question looming over the ceremony: Will HBO be able to hold off Netflix for total Emmy wins? HBO has collected the biggest haul of any television network for 16 straight years.

— John Koblin


Head of European Central Bank will discuss banking supervision.

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, will speak on Tuesday in Paris at an event organized by the French banking regulator. He will discuss the benefits of the decision after the financial crisis to centralize eurozone banking supervision. Danièle Nouy, who is in charge of the central bank’s regulatory arm, will also speak at the event organized by the French Autorité de Contróle Prudentiel et de Resolution.

— Jack Ewing


Corruption trial of major oil companies resumes.

On Tuesday, the trial of two large oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Italy's Eni, is expected to resume at a court in Milan after a summer break. The first session would most likely be devoted to procedural issues, but prosecutors are expected to lay out their case in the weeks ahead. Prosecutors are charging the companies with corruption over a deal for an offshore oil exploration tract off Nigeria. Both companies have denied wrongdoing.

— Stanley Reed


An appraisal of the real estate market will be released.

Two reports on the state of the housing market are coming out this week. On Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m., the Commerce Department will release data on housing starts in August. The real estate market has been cooling in some parts of the country, and housing starts were anemic in June and July. Some economists expect to see a rebound for August, but continued weakness would be more evidence of a downward trend.

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