Alstom and Eversholt Rail unveiled the design of new hydrogen train for the UK market, called ‘Breeze’. The train will be a conversion of existing Class 321 trains, reengineering some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock, to create a clean train for the modern age. These trains could run across the UK as early as 2022, emitting only water and no harmful emissions at all.
The rolling stock conversion will be carried out by Alstom, working in partnership with Eversholt Rail. The Alstom facility in Widnes will manage the conversion of the Breeze trains, creating high quality engineering jobs in this new, emerging sector.
The Class 321 being an excellent fit in terms of characteristics, fleet size and availability for conversion to a Hydrogen Multiple Unit (HMU).
The two companies are working closely with industry stakeholders to develop the business cases and evaluate detailed introduction plans for fleets of these innovative trains and the associated fuelling infrastructure. Alstom and Eversholt Rail also confirmed that their initial, comprehensive engineering study is now complete, and the train design concept finalised. The innovative technical solution defined is the first to allow a hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge, and it will also create more space for passengers than the trains they are intended to replace.
“Hydrogen train technology is an exciting innovation which has the potential to transform our railway, making journeys cleaner and greener by cutting CO2 emissions even further. We are working with industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes,” said Andrew Jones MP, UK Rail Minister.
“The Breeze will be a clean new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look. The railways need to decarbonise and the Government has rightly set out a goal to eliminate diesel rolling stock by 2040. Hydrogen trains offer an ideal solution for routes which are unlikely to benefit from electrification, and our innovative engineering solution means they can now fit within the UK loading gauge and can quickly be ready to roll on Britain’s railways,” Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director said.