‘Hydroshunter’ makes headway at Severn Valley

Work to convert a Class 08 shunter from diesel to hydrogen power has passed a significant milestone, with the locomotive’s existing 350hp engine lifted out at the Severn Valley Railway’s Kidderminster diesel depot.

Codenamed ‘Harrier Hydroshunter’, the project to carry out the UK’s first hydrogen conversion from a diesel shunter is a joint initiative between the University of Birmingham, Vanguard Sustainable Transport Solutions (VSTS) and the SVR.

The locomotive selected for the conversion is 08635, and the railway hired in a 100-tonne crane to lift out the original English Electric EE6KT engine following extensive work to strip out components and remove nuts and bolts.  

To read the full story, see RAIL 935

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  • jason leahy - 05/07/2021 19:48

    I've just read on Global Railway Review website that the diesel engine of a UK Class 66 freight locomotive has just been converted to burn a mix of biogas and hydrogen.

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    • Duncan Wilson - 06/07/2021 03:54

      It hasn't been converted yet, but a duel-fuel Class 66 conversion is under development with Freightline. It will be able to burn Diesel, or a mixture of Biogas, and Hydrogen Gas. The aim is to eventually convert the Class 66's to Hydrogen only. Instead of fuel cells, this would use the current reciprocating engine. Its an extremely inefficient way of doing it. Hydrogen technology is okay for lightweight passenger units, but not heavy freight locomotive. Hydrogen may contain more energy per kilo than diesel, but it's energy density is much, much low that diesel per unit of volume, and that is the more relevant measure. We need to stop tinkering with Hydrogen, and batteries and switch to full BiMode locomotives like the Vectron, and Eurodual alongside progressive electrification of major freight corridors eventually leading to the removal of diesel engines from the bimodes converting them to electric only. Just 500 miles of electrification, and 70% of UK freight could convert to electric traction, and that is without introducing bimodes.

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