Alstom has chosen Railtex to present a model of its hydrogen train design, the Breeze train.
At their stand at Birmingham’s NEC – S41 – Alstom are presenting a to-scale model of their Breeze train. This is Alstom’s hydrogen train design for the United Kingdom, which it has developed in collaboration with Eversholt Rail.
The model is 1.2m long and very detailed. The Breeze train is a converted British Rail Class 321. Alstom believes it could deploy its hydrogen train across the UK as early as 2022. The benefit of these trains is that their only emissions are water. Therefore they are extremely environmentally friendly.
The Committee on Climate Change’s recent Net Zero report mentioned hydrogen technology in rail for this very reason.
Class 321 Conversion
Alstom chose the Class 321 EMUs as the basis for its new hydrogen train because it is very reliable. On top of that, the fleet size and availability also made it a perfect fit. Alstom says its design is such that the Breeze is the first hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge. Even better, the converted hydrogen multiple units will offer passengers more space than their original counterparts.
The Race for Hydrogen Trains in the United Kingdom
Alstom is not the only company trying to enter the market with a hydrogen train for the United Kingdom:
Vivarail, who have successfully converted old London Underground rolling stock into a battery train, have announced a partnership with Arcola Energy, who specialise in fuel cells, in order to develop a hydrogen train.
The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) has partnered with Porterbrook to develop its hydrogen train, the HydroFlex, which will be on display at Rail Live on 19 June.
And Abellio, which recently announced that it was awarded the East Midlands rail franchise, said it was committed to trialling hydrogen fuel cell trains.
Engineers at Alstom’s Widnes facility in the north west are converting the Class 321s in hydrogen trains.
Mike Muldoon, Alstom UK & Ireland Head of Business Development & Marketing, said:
“I am delighted to be at Railtex unveiling this accurate scale model of the ‘breeze’. The momentum continues to build around hydrogen trains in the UK and we believe they have a key role to play in helping the railway meet Government targets to remove diesel trains by 2040. I was thrilled to speak to so many delegates who share my enthusiasm about the potential for hydrogen to transform UK rail travel.”
Mike Muldoon will be giving a talk about how hydrogen trains can help replace diesel. This will take place in the Seminar Theatre at 12:30pm on 16 May at Railtex. It’s the perfect opportunity for those who want to know more and wish to ask questions.