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Porterbrook, alongside the University of Birmingham, has announced that they have welcomed Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, onboard HydroFLEX, Britain’s first hydrogen train.
The first-ever hydrogen-powered train in Britain has started its operational trials on the mainline.
The start of testing is thanks to nearly two-years development work and an investment of more than £2m.
Rail leasing company, Porterbrook, has also announced plans to start putting HydroFLEX into production thanks to customer demand.
The HydroFLEX on test today is just a demonstrator unit, the production train will be configured to use both overhead electric wires and hydrogen for non-electrified lines.
Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP 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.”
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “Porterbrook is committed to innovation and the delivery of a carbon neutral and sustainable railway. Today’s mainline testing of HydroFLEX achieves another important milestone on this journey. I’m also delighted to be able to announce our intention to start producing HydroFLEX trains, creating the world’s first electric and hydrogen powered bi-mode rolling stock, as well as generating significant opportunities for the UK supply chain.”
Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, says: “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. Through the University and Porterbrook, we are looking forward to delivering this technology into the UK transport market, ensuring a cleaner future for our railways.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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