SAVE THE DATE : From Diesel to Zero – Developing the Potential of Zero Emission Trains: 26 September 2019: Manchester

Written on the 6th June, 2019

This One Day Conference organised by European Policy Solutions will review recent activity in the development of zero emission trains and looks specifically at the progress in the development of hydrogen and battery electric trains.  The Conference builds on the Conclusions of the Hydrogen Trains Workshop held in Edinburgh in May 2018 and looks at the progress made in the United Kingdom and the European Union.   In 2018, the UK Government made a commitment to remove diesel only trains from the network by 2040.  Similar commitments have been made in other EU Member States and others such as French and Germany have been more ambitious.

These Conclusions emphasised that there was not a single solution or ‘one size fits all’ approach to the replacement of diesel only trains and that each line should assess its needs before the most appropriate type of train was chosen.

Since May 2018, there has been a number of developments in terms of hydrogen and battery electric trains.  These include:

·       The RSSB set up the Rail Industry Decarbonisation Task Force to look at the phasing out of diesel only trains in the UK by 2040.  The Task Force published its Initial Report in January 2019 and the Final Report is expected shortly.   The RSSB has also commissioned a number of complementary reports and studies.             

·       Publication of a Study on the ‘Use of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen in the Railway Environment’ which was commissioned by the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU) and Shift2Rail.  This looked at the introduction of Multiple Units, Shunters and Mainline Locomotives. The Study stated that “By 2030, one in five newly purchased trains in Europe could be powered by hydrogen.”

·       Progress in the ‘Breeze’ train by Alstom with the completion of the engineering study and train design concept.  It is expected that the trains will be operational by 2022.

·       Further orders for the Coradia i-Lint fuel cell train in France and Germany

·       Further developments in Vivarail’s Class 320 train including trialling of the battery electric version in Scotland (October 2018), progress in the battery technology used and proof of concept for a fuel cell train.

·       Development of train policy in Germany at both federal and regional level with plans to introduce 300 battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell trains by 2024.  The budget for 2019 is €13.9 million with budget increases up to 2024.   

·       The unveiling of the HydroFLEX converted Class 319 hydrogen train by Porterbrook in partnership with Ballard Power Systems Europe and the University of Birmingham’s Centre Railway Research and Education (BCRRE.)

·       Further planned rollout of the rail electrification programme in Scotland and examination of Alternative Fuels on lines that will not be in the electrification programme.

Senior speakers from the UK Government, European Commission, regional governments across Europe and hydrogen and train industries will be invited.  The Conference will address policy and technical issues associated with the development of zero emission trains and the Conference will not only look at the trains themselves but the infrastructure needed to support them.   It will also look at the way in which demonstration projects can be transformed into large scale deployment.

A draft Agenda will be published at the end of June and further information about the seminar can be found on the European Policy Solutions website or you can contact Jon Jordan at [email protected] or phone on +44 1259 781404.




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