The Anonymous Widower

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Train To Be Developed With EU Funding

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The FCH2RAIL consortium’s €14m project to design, develop and test a prototype hydrogen fuelled train has been awarded a €10m grant from the European Commission’s Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking as part of the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The FCH2RAIL consortium is led by CAF, who have a factory at Newport in South Wales.

CAF are actively working on a battery electric version of their Class 331 train for the UK, which I wrote about in Northern’s Battery Plans.

The battery-electric Class 331 train will involve adding an extra car with batteries.

Will CAF be looking to apply this hydrogen technology developed from  the FCH2RAIL programme on UK-sized trains?

They could add a fourth car to a Class 331 train with all the necessary hydrogen gubbins.

November 7, 2020 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. Hydrogen gas doesn’t have the energy density to power high speed and freight trains hundred of miles only high speed bi-modal trains for short distances. However several R & D projects including one by Airbus have started for liquid hydrogen airliners and Reaction Engines which is developing hydrogen SABRE air breathing rocket for spacecraft that will burn using oxygen in the air up to Mach 5.4 then travel at Mach 25 with liquid oxygen has started a study into use of ammonia (hydrogen + nitrogen) as jet fuel, both higher energy density fuels should allow faster,heavier and longer trains to travel further. Porterbrook has leased a 125 mph HST Intercity Train to Birmingham Uni for hydrogen research so I wonder if the researchers are going to study liquid hydrogen. Reaction Engines has also signed a deal with a firm for R & D into hydrogen gas turbines to generate electricity at power stations.

    Comment by jason leahy | November 7, 2020 | Reply

    • Liquid hydrogen has lots of possibilities, especially for locomotives.

      The one i like is Rolls-Royce’s 2.5 MW beer keg-sized generator, which is based on the gas-turbine from the Super Hercules. It was developed for electric flight, but is small enough to be fitted into the average diesel locomotive with a big hydrogen tank. As Rolls-Royce own MTU, they have access to all the knowledge needed to power locomotives and ships.

      Then there’s the outsider. Steamology Motion are proposing to combine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in a boiler to make steam, which then drives a turbine-generator. This could be fantasy or the Norton’s Coin of railway engineering.

      Comment by AnonW | November 7, 2020 | Reply

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