The Anonymous Widower

Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles And Trains In Tunnels

In writing about the Silvertown Tunnel, I started to wonder, if hydrogen vehicles will be allowed in the tunnel.



  • I don’t think diesel-powered trains are allowed in the Channel Tunnel and the tunnels of the link to London.
  • Some tunnels don’t seem to allow hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • In a few years, hydrogen-powered buses, cars, locomotives, trains, trucks and vans will be more common, than they are today.

But help is at hand, with a co-operation between UK and EU agencies called HyTunnel-CS.

It is over fifty years now, since I worked as an instrument engineer in an ICI hydrogen factory at Runcorn. Truckloads of hydrogen were filled and despatched all over the UK. I may be wrong, but in all those intervening years, I can’t remember a hydrogen emergency on the UK’s roads.

I am confident, that we will achieve a safety regime, that allows hydrogen-powered vehicles and trains to be certified to pass through tunnels.

January 8, 2023 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , ,


  1. ET does have diesels used for mtce trains and rescue locos. They are fitted with scrubbers

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | January 8, 2023 | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Comment by AnonW | January 8, 2023 | Reply

  2. In London there has been several bus fires including at least one diesel bendy bus and a diesel double decker bus in Brixton and at Potters Bar depot which burnt four diesel and two hybrid buses, both in 2022, yet diesel and hybrid buses are not banned. All hydrogen land vehicles fuel tanks which are made from carbon fibre composites comply with standard ISO 19881:2018 and have to withstand bullet and bonfire tests, Robert Llewellyn said in the Fully Charged Show on youtube that the fuel tanks have been shot with 0.50 in armour piercing rounds without exploding, and are therefore safer than petrol and diesel vehicle tanks which are made from steel, aluminium or HDPE plastic, hydrogen is also lighter than air so if there is a leak the gas floats quickly upwards rather than dripping or gushing on to the road. If hydrogen cars like the Toyota Mirai is allowed then Wrightbus and Alexander Dennis fuel cell bus should also be allowed.
    P.S you missed news in Oct 2022 that TfL installed an overhead opportunity charger in Bexleyheath to fast charge Route 132 ev double decker buses. I wonder if opportunity charged ev buses can be used instead of hydrogen buses for 24/7 duty cycle night bus services such as Equipmake Jewel E 300 mile range ev double decker buses replaicing Wrightbus hydrogen buses on Route 7 and night bus Route N7.
    Please bookmark TfL media webpage so you don’t miss any more important press releases.

    Comment by jason leahy | January 8, 2023 | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Wrightbus’s new electric buses have a pantograph for opportunity charging.

      I like hydrogen! Probably because my first real job was as an Instrument Engineer in a hydrogen factory.

      Comment by AnonW | January 8, 2023 | Reply

  3. […] Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles And Trains In Tunnels, I looked at the feasibility of running hydrogen buses through the tunnel and came to this […]

    Pingback by Should There Be Limits To The Type Of Vehicles Allowed In The Blackwall And Silvertown Tunnels? « The Anonymous Widower | January 8, 2023 | Reply

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