‘Hydroflex’ trains are launched in the UK for the first time. Created by Porterbrook, a rail rolling stock company, in collaboration with Birmingham University’s centre for Railway Research, hydrogen trains are termed as ‘the greenest trains’. They are based on futuristic needs, as they do not emit harmful gases; instead generate water, heat and electricity, by using hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen powered trains use ‘a fully green fuel’ according to Helen Simpson from rail rolling stock company Porterbrook. Moreover, the project director reviewed the hydrogen trains as “Mini power stations on wheels.”
Owing to a majority of diesel run trains in the country, the UK rail project draws plan to discontinue with diesel trains by 2040. Hydroflex is a tester train, created to do trial and error technology experiments, with fuel cells and hydrogen tanks occupying the space generally used by passengers.
Currently, Germany is the only country in the world with two actively functioning hydrogen trains. Mike Muldoon spokesperson for Germany’s hydrogen trains said in a statement that the rail sector needs to get greener, “if we are going to convince more people to shift from car to train,” argues Muldoon.
In the present situation, UK trains are bi-mode, which are not environmental friendly. Moreover, two-thirds of UK rail lines do not have overhead cabling, necessary for electric trains and electrifying rail lines projects are expensive for the government. According to reports, regional routes will be electrified in the near future and this will pave way for hydrogen powered trains. The government alleges that passengers can be ferried on hydrogen powered trains within the next two years.