Alstom and Eversholt Rail have announced a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at delivering the UK’s first ever brand-new hydrogen train fleet.
The two firms have agreed to work together, sharing technical and commercial information necessary for Alstom to design, build, commission, and support a fleet of ten three-car hydrogen multiple units (HMUs).
The trains will be built by Alstom in the UK and based on the latest version of the company’s Aventra platform.
The partners look to sign final contracts for the fleet in early 2022.
Eversholt Rail and Alstom are committed to taking a leading role in supporting the UK government’s ambitions to decarbonise its rail sector by 2040, and the Scottish government’s objective of doing so by 2035.
Alstom was the first company in the world to produce a hydrogen powered train – the Coradia iLint – which is in operational service in Germany.
Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s managing director, UK & Ireland, said: “COP26 is a reminder of just how urgent the need to decarbonise our world is.
“Rail is already the lowest emission transport mode, but we can do even more, and I am delighted that we have concluded this agreement with our friends at Eversholt Rail which will lead to Britain’s first ever fleet of new hydrogen trains.”
Mary Kenny, CEO at Eversholt Rail, said: “It is important that we start sooner rather than later to decarbonise UK Rail if we are to meet the 2050 ‘net-zero’ target.
“Hydrogen propulsion will play an important role, and this project with Alstom will demonstrate how the private sector can work together to make a difference.”
Alstom and Eversholt Rail have previously worked together on a hydrogen rolling stock solution for the UK rail sector, through the proposed conversion of an existing Electric Multiple Unit to hydrogen power – the ‘Breeze’ project.
Both companies now believe that there is a market for a fleet of new trains for use by train operators across Britain.
Image credit: Alstom/Advanced & Creative Design
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