Alstom and Eversholt’s Rail join forces for UK hydrogen fleet

Alstom and Everholt’s Rail made plans to deliver 10 new hydrogen trains for the UK. The companies announced a Memorandum of Understanding to deliver the UK’s first brand-new hydrogen train fleet. The intention is that final contracts for the fleet will be signed in early 2022.

Alstom will design, build, commission and support a fleet of ten three-car hydrogen multiple units (HMUs) for operations in Great Britain. The train builder from France will work together with British train owner and financier Eversholt’s Rail, and share technical and commercial information necessary for the development of the trains.

Previous experience

The trains will be built by Alstom in Britain. The new fleet will be based on the latest Alstom Aventra platform. Aventra trains are modular, from carriage length to interior layout and design. They can easily be modified for different customer requirements, while retaining core benefits such as a lightweight carbody and low lifecycle costs.

Alstom and Eversholt’s 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. It was said earlier that the first Breeze trains could be in service in 2024. Both companies now believe that there is a market for a fleet of new trains for use by train operators across Britain. The project planning has been built on the experience gained from the Breeze project, together with stakeholder feedback on future fleet strategies.

Net zero target

“It is important that we start sooner rather than later to decarbonise UK Rail if we are to meet the 2050 ‘net-zero’ target’, says Mary Kenny, Eversholt Rail’s CEO. “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.”

Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s Managing Director, UK & Ireland: “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.”

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor of RailTech.com

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