As a leading proponent of green technology for rail we are closely involved in the potential of hydrogen. Today’s report in The Times contains some interesting facts …
Hydrogen trains are essentially battery trains that use the hydrogen to charge the batteries. This is very similar to the trains we designed for Transport for Wales – although in that instance gensets charged the batteries.
Currently we have the UK’s only battery train fully approved for passenger service and our patented Fast Charge system. Together these provide unlimited range – the train itself can travel up to 100 miles between charges and then recharge in circa 10 minutes. Locating Fast Charge stations throughout the route means battery trains are not constrained in the same way as electric cars.
Our battery technology can be applied to many different types of train – a traction upgrade on good quality diesel units can play a huge part in the UK’s decarbonisation agenda – as well as saving money! Our Class 230 programme has shown how we are able to completely retraction stock to create emission-free trains without the need to spend millions on building stock from scratch.
Battery trains are cheaper to operate and maintain than diesel units so both capital and operational expenditure will be a fraction of wholesale electrification whilst still helping decarbonise the railways!