Trial aims to be “catalyst” to help UK remove diesel trains by 2040


Ricardo, ScottishPower, Network Rail Scotland and the University of Leeds have received funding to continue developing a project that could remove diesel trains by 2040.

On 1 August, Ricardo revealed their innovative Holistic Hydrogen Approach to Heavy Duty Transport (H2H) had now been granted alpha project funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund – having already received funding for an earlier discovery phase. It will use green hydrogen to test prototype hydrogen-electric trains with the eventual aim of replacing diesel trains on rural routes in Scotland by 2035.

Detailing the advantages of the project, Ricardo highlighted how using renewable electricity that might otherwise be under-utilised benefits the electricity system and its customers. Hydrogen-electric trains, meanwhile, can offer the acceleration, low pollution and quiet journey that is valued by passengers.

The project team will now have six months to explore their concepts in detail. After this, they will be able to enter a further competition for large-scale funding, allowing them to take their innovation towards market readiness.