From 2021, hydrogen trains will be introduced by Alstom and Eversholt as the Class 321 Breeze units will be powered by Hydrogen. In an attempt to turn the rail industry to become as green as possible, these hydrogen trains will make a significant difference to the way in which the rail industry impacts the environment.
The trains that will be put into service will have the capability of carrying enough hydrogen that will allow the trains to travel for a maximum of 625 miles. However, along with this, they will also have the ability to reach a top speed of 87mph and will also have Lithium-ion batteries installed as well as regenerative brakes. The conversion of these trains is due to be carried out at the Widnes facility of the company.
A hydrogen tank will be located inside one of the vehicles due to the UK loading gauge which is slightly different to the German iLints that were introduced by Alstom in Germany last year, which sees them fitted on the roof. The electrical energy is then created by combining hydrogen and oxygen.
However, there could be a problem for passengers as it will mean that train formations will be reduced to three cars from four cars, using electric multiple units that are used by Greater Anglia at this moment in time. The study that relates to the hydrogen multiple units has been completed as the initial study has been confirmed as being undertaken and that means that the design of the train has also been finalised, giving the green light for the work to go ahead.
When it comes to the hydrogen multiple units, the manufacturer and rolling stock leasing company have been working towards developing a business case for them. Along with this, they have been actively evaluating detailed introduction plans for larger fleets of these trains while there is also confidence in there being a distinct possibility that the concept could also be exported.