Awards, contracts & appointments

07.01.19

New hydrogen ‘Breeze’ trains unveiled by Alstom and Eversholt

Hydrogen trains will be introduced in as little as two years after a deal has been struck to convert more than 100 trains into the first fleet powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The new trains, to be called “Breeze” trains, are due to be employed on commuter and suburban lines by early 2021 in the project being led by French company Alstom.

The DfT is supporting the plan as it allows train operators to scrap diesel trains without the need to install extremely expensive overhead power lines which are needed to operate electric carriages.

The hydrogen trains have zero emissions and are nearly silent operating at speeds up to 90mph, with released steam the only by-product.

Less than half of the British rail network is currently electrified and around 2,500 commuter trains run on diesel, but the government has set a target of eradicating diesel altogether by 2040.

Alstom are leading the project alongside rolling stock company Eversholt Rail, with a fleet of Class 321 electric trains owned by Eversholt being identified for the project.

The trains are currently used on the Greater Anglia network, but will be phased out next year when the hydrogen conversion will start.

Alstom has released new images showing that the existing four-carriage 321s will be reduced to three as part of the process, with the front and rear third of the train used to house hydrogen gas storage tanks.

The Breeze trains will be converted at Alstom’s facility in Widnes.

UK rail minister Andrew Jones said: “Hydrogen train technology is an exciting innovation which has the potential to transform our railway, making journeys cleaner and greener by cutting CO2 emissions even further.

“We are working with industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes.”

Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s UK managing director, commented: “There is great opportunity to get better value for taxpayers by converting an existing fleet.

“It will reach the same top speed as a diesel and in terms of acceleration a train like this will perform much more effectively. But the main benefit is to the environment in terms of emissions, noise and the passenger experience.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >