Innovation: Scottish Consortium Building Hydrogen Powered Train in 2021

Exterior view of a 314 Class electric train sitting at the Scotrail Yoker Depot in Yoker, Glasgow on 14th December 2020. The train has been decommissioned and will be taken to Bo'ness where it will be converted to run on hydrogen.

Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, based at the University of St Andrews, have appointed Arcola Energy and a consortium of industry-leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train. A key objective of the project is to create opportunities for the Scottish rail supply chain through skills development and industrialisation of the technology.

The consortium will be led by hydrogen fuel cell integration specialist Arcola Energy and draw on the expertise of world-leading rail engineering and safety experts to deliver full system design and integration based on Arcola’s A-Drive technology platform. The project is supported by rail engineering and safety experts Arup and Abbott Risk Consulting to form an integrated delivery team, with AEGIS providing regulatory third-party verification.

Arcola Energy will develop the technology platform for the train’s new powertrain from its planned new Scottish base. Arcola’s existing A-Drive platform will be extended to meet rail safety and compliance requirements, thereby enabling the consortium to significantly reduce development time and cost to deliver a complete hydrogen powered solution in just 10 months.

The consortium includes:

  • Arcola Energy, project lead responsible for hydrogen fuel cell system engineering, design and integration, and project demonstration
  • Global engineering consultancy Arup, will provide specialist rail engineering expertise for technical concepts, high-level design and safety strategy. Arup’s Edinburgh office will also work with the Hydrogen Accelerator to chart the route to mainline deployment of hydrogen powered trains across Scotland
  • Abbott Risk Consulting, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, will deliver specialist product development compliance and health and safety management
  • AEGIS Certification Services will provide third party safety certification and compliance verification

Project partner Arup will use the learnings from the project to develop a roadmap to roll out hydrogen trains to support the decarbonisation of Scotland’s network.

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

Following demonstrations, 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. The Consortium will demonstrate the hydrogen powered train during COP26, hosted by Glasgow City, from November 1-12, 2021.

About alastair walker 5684 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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