by Keith Fender
HYDROGEN-powered trains could be heading to the British rail network within a few years.
Alstom has been developing the new technology in Germany for several years and has been discussing the idea with UK operators, ROSCOs and the DfT.
The trains would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, producing electricity which powers traction motors.
Experience in Germany with Alstom’s iLINT prototype suggest a hydrogen-powered unit can operate up to 1,000km between refuellings.
Alstom say the new technology could be retrofitted on to trains, although whether that is possible within the UK loading gauge is unclear.
In early November, Alstom announced the first firm order for its new iLINT hydrogen-powered train. Fourteen of the two-car trains, based on the LINT54 body and running gear, but powered by hydrogen fuel cells, rather than diesel engines, will be delivered to the State of Niedersachsen.
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