Scotland to have its first hydrogen-powered train running during COP26

A car passenger train of ScotRail will be converted into a hydrogen-powered train by Arcola Energy and an industry consortium

The Big Zero report

Scotland could see what is claimed to be its first hydrogen-powered train running during COP26 in Glasgow during November.

The British hydrogen technology company Arcola Energy and a consortium of industry-leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety have been appointed by Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator to deliver the hydrogen train.

Arcola Energy will develop the technology for the train’s new powertrain, which will form the basis of the further development of the project in the next ten months.

The consortium, which includes the global engineering consultancy Arup, Abbot Rish Consulting and AEGIS Certification Services, will convert a Class 314 car passenger train of ScotRail, into a hydrogen-powered train development.

Project partner Arup will use the learnings from the project to roll out hydrogen trains for Scotland’s rail network.

Dr Ben Todd, Chief Executive Officer of Arcola Energy, said: “Hydrogen traction power offers a safe, reliable and zero-carbon alternative for Scotland’s rail network.

“The hydrogen train project is an excellent opportunity for industry leaders in hydrogen, rail engineering and safety to collaborate with Scottish technology providers to develop a deployment-ready solution.”

Clare Lavelle, Scotland Energy Business Lead at Arup, said: “This project is not only a crucial step in helping us understand the practical challenges of using hydrogen traction power on our railways but an example of the type of investment Scotland needs to take advantage of the opportunity to build a secure, flexible, cost-effective and zero-carbon energy network.”

Scotland’s Transport Secretary Michael Matheson added: “This project has the potential to be a game-changer for the future of Scotland’s rail rolling stock.”

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