Full steam ahead: Green light for hydrogen train tests

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Mainline testing of a hydrogen powered train has been given the green light in the UK, after successful ‘proof of concept’ work.

The UK’s first hydrogen train has been developed by the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), working with railway leasing and asset management business Porterbrook.

The project, known as Hydroflex, will see the installation of a hydrogen powering system to a Class 319 train which will allow it to run both independently and on electrified routes. Eventually it will be able to operate in a highly flexible manner across the UK railway network.

The initiative has received funding through Innovate UK and its First Of A Kind funding stream.

Energy expert view

“A very interesting move for the transport sector. If large scale hydrogen manufacture and distribution infrastructure can be developed together with hydrogen development in transport, then we could see a much more rapid reduction in carbon-based emissions at point of use. Something we really need to move forward quickly on the decarbonisation path we are now on.” Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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