Alstom and Eversholt team up to fit hydrogen tanks on Class 321s

Alstom has today confirmed its plans to bring hydrogen-powered trains to the UK by announcing a partnership with Eversholt Rail.

The two companies will join forces to convert Class 321 electric trains to hydrogen operation by fitting hydrogen tanks and fuel cells on the existing units, which Alstom claimed will upcycle what are already some of the “best proven” trains on the network into “Britain’s most advanced rolling stock.”

The French-based transport giant said this marks the first “substantive” industry response to the government’s desire to get rid of ‘dirty diesel’ stock by 2040, although it does come after Vivarail’s long-running D-Train project. Around a third of the UK’s trains are currently running on diesel.

Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland managing director, argued the potential for hydrogen trains is enormous and just the “bold and innovative” industry response needed to the government’s diesel challenge.

“I am very proud that, working with Eversholt Rail, we are able to take the lead in that respect,” he added.

“Not only are hydrogen trains zero carbon, they are near-silent and emit no particulates, which means they offer substantial air quality and noise pollution benefits too. On cost, hydrogen trains can help to avoid the necessity for line electrification, which represents a significant investment for customers.”

A potential long-term application of hydrogen in the UK – which already has the DfT’s backing – could be significant to the industry, considering that less than half of the network is currently electrified. Large swathes of the railways will likely remain unelectrified after Chris Grayling’s decision to pull the plug on key schemes.

Today’s announcement follows on from Alstom’s first successful test of the Coradia iLint, the world’s only hydrogen fuel cell passenger train, at its test track in Salzgitter. The milestone was the first step to an extensive test campaign in Germany and Czech Republic over the coming months.

Henrik Anderberg, former managing director for regional & intercity at the company’s UK base, wrote about how the train could revolutionise UK railways in RTM’s October/November 2016 issue.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

14/12/2018Network Rail’s subsidiary secures systems integrator contract in Australia

The Australian subsidiary of Network Rail Consulting has been named as the systems integrator for the Digital Systems Program in Sydney by Transp... more >
Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

14/12/2018Infrastructure giant Amey to be sold to private equity firm in new year

 Infrastructure giant Amey is expected to be sold to a private equity firm in the new year, according to reports. The Financial Times b... more >
HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

14/12/2018HS2 and Crossrail suppliers admit to running ‘illegal cartel’ for 7 years

Two UK rail suppliers to major projects such as HS1, HS2, and Crossrail have admitted to operating an illegal cartel for almost seven years with ... 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

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >