The UK’s first hydrogen-powered train has been trialled, with the government also announcing ambitions for a Hydrogen Transport Hub in Tees Valley, in the latest developments for hydrogen fuelled transport.
On 30 September, the first trials of the HydroFLEX train took place, making it the first ever hydrogen powered train to run on the UK mainline. The government added that the technology behind it will be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains to hydrogen, ensuring the rail network can be decarbonised and rail journeys become greener and more efficient.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, vising the start of the trials in Warwickshire, also announced ambitions for Tees Valley to become a Hydrogen Transport Hub. This would see representatives from academia, industry and government brought together to drive forward the UK’s plans to embrace the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, leading to the creation of hundreds of jobs while also allowing for the region to become a global leader in the green hydrogen sector.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned a “masterplan” to understand the feasibility of the hub and how it can accelerate the UK’s hydrogen ambitions. It is set to be published in January and will pave the way for exploring how green hydrogen can power buses, heavy goods vehicles, rail, maritime and aviation transport across the UK. The aim would be for the region to become a global leader in industrial research on the subject of hydrogen as a fuel, along with a research and development hub for hydrogen transport more generally.