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Climate Action

Scotland set to receive its first Hydrogen-powered train this year

Arcola Energy, has been appointed by Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train.

  • 07 January 2021
  • Cordelia Van-Ristell

Arcola Energy, has been appointed by Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train.

The project is a Scottish supply chain collaboration to deliver a production-ready and safety certified hydrogen powered train, which is set to be ready for Glasgow’s COP26 climate conference in November.

Dr Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy, said: “Hydrogen traction power offers a safe, reliable and zero-carbon alternative for Scotland’s rail network."

“The hydrogen train project is an excellent opportunity for industry leaders in hydrogen, rail engineering and safety to collaborate with Scottish technology providers to develop a deployment ready solution.”

Situated at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, the team will convert a Class 314 car passenger train, made accessible by ScotRail, into a deployment-ready and certified platform for hydrogen powered train development.

The train will serve as a development platform for Scottish technology providers and academics as Scottish Enterprise and the Hydrogen Accelerator explore opportunities for Scotland’s hydrogen-enabled low carbon strategy.

The Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway will provide engineering facilities and support for testing and public demonstrations. This technology will help to support Scotland’s plan to make passenger railways emission free by 2035.

Based off of their A-Drive technology platform, the collaboration will be led by Arcola Energy and draws on the expertise of world-leading rail engineering and safety experts to deliver full system design and integration.

Along with government and academic partners, the Arcola team includes the consulting firm Arup and compliance specialists Abbott Risk Consulting, and third party verification through AEGIS Certification Services.

Clare Lavelle, Scotland Energy Business Lead at Arup added: “With Scotland’s focus on achieving net zero emissions by 2035 and rail playing a leading role in this, hydrogen offers a safe, reliable and zero carbon alternative to other forms of rail propulsion.”

“This project is not only a crucial step in helping us understand the practical challenges of using hydrogen traction power on our railways, but an example of the type of investment Scotland needs to take advantage of the opportunity to build a secure, flexible, cost effective and zero carbon energy network.”

The trains new technology will be demonstrated at COP26 in November 2021, and will serve as a development platform for technology providers and academics, as Scottish Enterprise and the Hydrogen Accelerator explore opportunities for the country’s hydrogen-enabled low carbon strategy.

Image: Arcola Energy