Porterbrook wins with HydroFLEX

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BusinessGreen’s Transport Project of the Year award has gone to Porterbrook for the UK’s first hydrogen train, HydroFLEX.

The HydroFLEX train ran on the mainline tracks for the first time only a few weeks ago following almost two years’ development work and more than £1million of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham.

Hydrogen-powered trains, unlike diesel trains,  do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat. The ground-breaking technology behind the trains will also be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains to hydrogen helping decarbonise the rail network and make rail journeys greener and more efficient.

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “We are delighted to have won BusinessGreen’s Transport Project of the Year for our pioneering hydrogen train, HydroFLEX. The work we have done with the University of Birmingham has been ground-breaking in terms of zero-emissions transport. At Porterbrook we take our responsibility for de-carbonising the railways very seriously and this award only bolsters our motivation to keep innovating.”

HydroFLEX is able to run in bi-mode operations meaning it can use electric overhead supplies as well as run independently on hydrogen.

The next stages of HydroFLEX are already well underway, as the University of Birmingham develops a hydrogen and battery powered module that can be fitted underneath the train, which will allow for more space for passengers in the train’s carriage.