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Grayling: "I want the first hydrogen train to operate on our rail network within a short period of time"

Alstom 654602 is pictured at Velim test track in the Czech Republic during the first day of test runs on April 25. The two-car Coradia iLint is scheduled to go into passenger service in Germany in January 2018 as the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered train. ENRICO SCHREURS.

The prospect of hydrogen-powered trains has moved a step closer after Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said their introduction was “a priority”.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday (January 18), he said: “I expect to see a transformation of technology on our railways over the coming years, with the introduction of different types of battery electric hybrid trains, and I see that as a priority. I want the first hydrogen train to operate on our rail network within a short period of time.”

Alstom is already trialling its hydrogen-powered iLint in Germany, with the train unveiled in September 2016.

This week The Times reported that hyrdogen-powered units could be used on the Great Western network.

In a debate on rail on January 10, Grayling, speaking about hybrid technology for various routes such as the Welsh Valleys, said: “What we are now seeing is the arrival of new technologies that will transform the way our railways work. We will soon see hydrogen trains. The new generation of trains – hybrid trains – is much cleaner than its predecessors. New technology is giving us extra versatility.”

  • For a full update on progress with hydrogen trains, read RAIL 845, published on January 31, and available on Android and iPad from January 27.

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  • FrankH - 19/01/2018 13:49

    More hot air from parliament, pity we couldn't harness that.

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  • John - 06/02/2018 22:16

    He talks about new technology,. The Austrians and NZ have ordered electric battery trains. The trains are there. The Mayflower line and the Liverpool to Wrexham line needs these trains, especially the Liverpool to Wrexham line. Has he ordered any? No. He ordered a lot of bimodal electric diesel trains which will pour out toxins.

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  • Peter Stanton - 13/02/2018 11:19

    Where are these hydrogen mines? Don't think storage has been cracked yet and if so MUST be generated from electrolysis by energy efficient means! Relatively low loss down a wire is still great technology and the electricity can bee generated from anything!

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