For the first time ever, hydrogen-fueled trains will soon be running on UK railways.
The train, codenamed “Breeze”, will convert existing Class 321 trains, which will reengineer some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock and create a clean train for the modern age.
These trains could run across the UK as early as 2022, emitting only water and zero harmful emissions.
The conversion will be carried out by French transit company Alstom in partnership with Eversholt Rail. The two companies have confirmed that their initial, comprehensive engineering study is now complete, and the train design concept finalized. The innovative technical solution defined is the first to allow a hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge, and it will also create more space for passengers than the trains they are intended to replace.
“The Breeze will be a clean new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look,” said Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director. “In Germany, Alstom’s hydrogen trains are already transporting passengers in the comfort and quiet that is characteristic of these trains. The Breeze offers British rail users the opportunity to share in the pleasure that is a journey on a hydrogen train.”
“Hydrogen train technology is an exciting innovation which has the potential to transform our railway, making journeys cleaner and greener by cutting CO2 emissions even further,” said UK Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP in a press release. “We are working with industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes.”
The Alstom facility in Widnes will manage the conversion of the Breeze trains, which will also create engineering jobs in the emerging sector.
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