Eco-friendly hydrogen trains could be introduced on to one of Britain’s busiest rail networks under plans to phase out dirty diesel engines. The government said that the technology should be considered on the Great Western network between London and the West Country. The Department for Transport indicated that hydrogen could be used as an alternative power supply on smaller branch lines that will never be electrified. Ministers are believed to be keen on hydrogen trains as a cheaper alternative to converting lines to electric power, which has proved to be hugely expensive. Alstom, the company behind the world’s only hydrogen-powered trains, has already been in talks with British operators about the technology. It recently signed a deal to build and operate 14 zero-emission hydrogen trains in Lower Saxony, German y. Trials on the line are expected to take place from this spring and it is expected that passengers will be carried from December 2021. The Coradia iLint train can cover up to 620 miles at a time and reach a maximum speed of 87mph.
Times 16th Jan 2018 read more »