Trials for the UK’s first hydrogen-fuelled train will begin today (September 30).
Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead, they use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind.
This new train, known as the HydroFLEX, has been supported by a £750,000 grant from the Department for Transport and a further £1m from the University of Birmingham and Porterbrook.
This new technology will also be available from 2023 to retrofit existing trains to hydrogen.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘As we continue on our road to a green recovery, we know that to really harness the power of transport to improve our country – and to set a global gold standard – we must truly embed change.
‘That’s why I’m delighted that, through our plans to build back better, we’re embracing the power of hydrogen and the more sustainable, greener forms of transport it will bring.’
Professor Stephen Jarvis, head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘The University of Birmingham is setting the pace for rail innovation both in the UK and globally.
‘The HydroFLEX project is a great example of how world-class R&D, together with the right industry partnerships, can deliver decarbonisation technologies that are both innovative and practical.
‘Successful mainline testing is a major milestone for HydroFLEX and is a clear demonstration of the important role hydrogen has to play in the UK’s rail industry.’
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