All aboard! UK’s first hydrogen-powered train starts trial journeys today

30th November 2020

The DfT says the technology deployed in the train will be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains to hydrogen

The first-ever hydrogen-powered train will run on the UK mainline today.

Today’s trials of the train, named HydroFLEX, follow almost two years of development work and more than £1 million of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham.

The project has also been supported with a £750,000 grant from the Department for Transport (DfT).

DfT says the technology deployed for the train will also be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains to hydrogen, helping decarbonise the rail network and make journeys greener and more efficient.

The next phase of HydroFLEX will be the development of a hydrogen and battery-powered module that can be fitted underneath the train, which will allow for more space for passengers in the train’s carriage.

The Transport Secretary has also unveiled plans to make Tees Valley the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, bringing together industry and scientists to help create hundreds of green jobs.

Mr Shapps also announced a £6.3 million funding for a green hydrogen refuelling station and 19 hydrogen-powered refuse vehicles in Glasgow.

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 are embracing the power of hydrogen and the more sustainable, greener forms of transport it will bring.”