The Anonymous Widower

Universal Hydrogen Successfully Completes First Flight Of Hydrogen Regional Airliner

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Central.

These two paragraphs outline the story.

Universal Hydrogen successfully completes first flight of hydrogen regional airliner.

Universal Hydrogen Co., this morning flew a 40-passenger regional airliner using hydrogen fuel cell propulsion. The airplane, nicknamed Lightning McClean, took off at 8:41am PST from Grant County International Airport (KMWH) and flew for 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,500 MSL. The flight, conducted under an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate, was the first in a two-year flight test campaign expected to culminate in 2025 with entry into passenger service of ATR 72 regional aircraft converted to run on hydrogen.

Other details from the article include.

  • Connect Airlines are the North American launch customer, who have ordered 75 aircraft conversions.
  • Amelia are the European launch customer.
  • Universal Hydrogen has an order book, totaling 247 aircraft conversions from 16 customers worldwide.
  • For the test flight, only one engine was replaced by a hydrogen fuel cell powered electric motor.
  • Deliveries will start in 2025.

The article finishes with two paragraphs about Universal Hydrogen.

Universal Hydrogen is building a hydrogen logistics network to fuel the future of aviation, today. Hydrogen is the ideal fuel for flight and will power aviation’s new golden age, where planes are powered by renewables and emit nothing but water. The company’s modular hydrogen capsules move over the existing freight network from production directly to the airplane anywhere in the world.

Universal Hydrogen is also working to certify a powertrain conversion kit to retrofit existing regional aircraft to fly on hydrogen. The company has gathered the world’s leading aviation and hydrogen talent to give the industry the option of clean flight, forever.

The company also has an unusual web site.

  • This page describes the product.
  • This page gives details of their dogs.

I like the company and its design, operating and marketing philosophies.


March 4, 2023 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wrightbus: Ballymena Company Gets Order For 117 Buses

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

This is the sub-heading.

County Antrim firm Wrightbus has secured a £25.3m order to build 117 zero-emission buses for use in England

And this is the first paragraph.

Operated by First Bus, the vehicles will be used in Yorkshire, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampshire.

They don’t say, whether the buses are battery or hydrogen powered.

March 4, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

TfL Considers Replacing Over Half Of London Overground Trains Within The Next 4 Years

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

This is the sub-heading.

The trains were specially built for the dimensions of the Overground network

This paragraph outlines, why the trains may be replaced.

The 57 Class 378 ‘Capitalstar’ trains which provide the majority of services on London Overground could disappear as soon as June 2027, as Transport for London (TfL) officials decide what to do with them as their leases expire. The five carriage walkthrough trains have helped revolutionise the Overground network, being built to special dimensions to fit the unique profile of the suburban routes they run on – notably the East London line, where trains use the narrow single-bore Thames Tunnels.


  1. The Class 378 trains, which I use regularly, still seem to be performing well!
  2. They could do with a lick of paint and a tidying up in places.
  3. Would it be too much to ask for power sockets and wi-fi?
  4. The other London Overground trains, the Class 710 trains can’t run through the Thames Tunnel on the East London Line, as they have no means to evacuate passengers in the tunnel in an emergency.
  5. More Class 378 trains are needed for the East London Line to increase services, but these can be obtained by transferring trains from the North London Line and replacing those with new Class 710 trains.

I live near the two Dalston stations on the London Overground and the thing we need most is more capacity.

I have some thoughts on London Overground’s future trains.

Increased Services On The Current Network

Plans exist to increase the frequency on various London Overground services and this graphic sums up what was planned a few years ago.

Note the extra two trains per hour (tph) between the following stations.

  1. Clapham Junction and Stratford
  2. Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace
  3. Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction
  4. Enfield Town and Liverpool St. via Seven Sisters

I think only Route 1 services have been increased.

I know signalling updates are holding up  the extra trains on the East London Line, but are more trains needed to fully implement the extra services?

  • Routes 2 and 3 services will need Class 378 trains because of the tunnel and these would be transferred from the North London Line.
  • Route 4 would need Class 710 trains, as the service already uses them.

So there may be a need for more Class 710 trains.

West London Orbital Railway

The graphic doesn’t mention the West London Orbital Railway.

  • There would be two routes between West Hampstead and Hounslow and Hendon and Kew Bridge using the Dudding Hill Line.
  • The tracks already exist.
  • Some new platforms and stations would be needed.
  • The route would probably need improved signalling.
  • Four tph on both routes would probably be possible.
  • The West London Orbital Railway would connect to the Great Western Railway, the North London and Elizabeth Lines and High Speed Two at Old Oak Common station.

I believe it could be run by battery-electric versions of either the Class 378 or Class 710 trains. This would avoid electrification.

As some commentators have suggested that the West London Orbital Railway and the Gospel Oak and Barking Line would be connected, I would expect that new battery-electric Class 710 trains would be used.

Adding On-board Energy Storage To The Class 378 Trains

In Will London Overground Fit On-board Energy Storage To Class 378 Trains?, I asked whether it would be worthwhile.

I finished with these two sentences.

I have no idea how much electricity would be saved by regenerative braking on the London Overground, but various applications of regenerative braking technology talk of electricity savings of between ten and twenty percent.

I think it is only a matter of time before the technology is proven to be sufficiently reliable and the numbers add up correctly for the Class 378 trains to be fitted with on-board energy storage.

What would be the advantages from fitting on-board energy storage?

  • There would be the savings of electricity by the use of regenerative braking to the batteries.
  • Trains could be rescued from the Thames Tunnel, if there was a power failure.
  • Hotel power would be maintained, if there was a power failure.
  • Trains can be moved in depots and sidings without power.
  • Trains would be able to move in the event of cable theft.
  • Short route extensions might be possible.
  • Could battery power be used to serve Euston during the rebuilding process for High Speed Two?
  • Do Network Rail want to remove third-rail electrification from Euston station for safety or cost reasons?

There could be a saving in train operating costs.

We know the trains are coming up for a new lease.

Suppose the leasing company fitted them with new batteries and some other customer-friendly improvements like new seat covers, better displays, litter bins, power sockets and wi-fi.

  • The leasing company would be able to charge more, as they have added value to the trains.
  • TfL would be saving money due to less of an electricity bill.
  • The passenger numbers might increase due to the extra customer-friendly features.
  • Electrification might be removed from places where theft is a problem.
  • Third-rail electrification could be removed from Euston station. It’s only 2.8 miles to South Hampstead station, where third-rail electrification already exists.

Get it right and passengers, TfL, Network Rail and the leasing company would all be winners.






March 4, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TfL’s First Brand New £8million DLR Train Trashed And Covered In Graffiti At London Depot

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

This is the sub-heading.

Not a single passenger has even been able to ride the new train yet, but it has already been entirely tagged with graffiti

This is so sickening.

Transport for London, must have known the train was a target after what happened to Merseyrail’s first Class 777 train whilst it was parked up in Tonbridge on the way to Liverpool, according to this article in the Liverpool Echo.

It should be noted that Liverpool’s trains, don’t suffer from these morons in the city and even their forty-year-old Class 508 trains are untouched.


Where were the Police?

March 4, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

SSE Thermal Is Charting A Path For Low-Carbon Flexible Generation In Ireland

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item from SSE.

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Thermal, as part of SSE plc, is exploring options to develop two new low-carbon power stations in Ireland which would help to protect security of supply and provide flexible backup to renewable generation.

This three paragraphs outline the project.

Sites in Tarbert in County Kerry and at Platin in County Meath, could provide the location for these new power stations, which would initially run on sustainable biofuel with the potential to convert to hydrogen in the future.

Biofuel provides a lower carbon option for use in power stations, using waste feedstocks to produce valuable flexible electricity making it an important transitionary solution as plans for a greater use of hydrogen and carbon capture are developed. The proposed units will run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (or HVO), which is produced by processing waste oils to create a fossil-free alternative to diesel in accordance with EU sustainability standards.

Development at the two sites could provide up to 450MW of new generation capacity to the grid, with up to 300MW at Tarbert and 150MW at Platin. While in early development and still subject to a final investment decision, these new power stations could be operational as early as 2027, bringing with them the potential to underpin demand for low-carbon hydrogen in Ireland.

One problem is that SSE’s existing Tarbert Power Station is required to close by the end of 2023 in line with its environmental licence. So it looks like they’ll have to get going quickly.

Lessons From Keadby 2

Keadby 2 is one of SSE Thermal’s newest power stations and it is described in this page on the SSE Thermal web site, which is entitled Keadby 2 Power Station.

These are first three paragraphs from the page.

Keadby 2 is a new 893MW gas-fired power station in North Lincolnshire currently being constructed by our EPC contractor Siemens Energy. The project is adjacent to our operational Keadby 1 Power Station.

SSE Thermal has partnered with Siemens Energy to introduce first-of-a-kind, high-efficiency gas-fired generation technology to the UK. When completed, Keadby 2 is expected to become the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe.

The station will also be capable of being upgraded to further decarbonise its generation through carbon capture or hydrogen technology, as routes to market develop.


  1. Siemens Energy seem to be able to deliver large gas-fired power stations to satisfy SSE Thermal.
  2. Looking at the data sheets for Siemens Energy’s heavy-duty gas-turbines, they can run on a wide range of fuel including biodiesel.
  3. This document from Siemens Energy describes work to run their gas-turbines on HVO.
  4. If Keadby 2 can be upgraded to run on hydrogen, I can see no reason why Tarbert and Platin won’t be able to be similarly upgraded in the future.

SSE Thermal seem to be following a similar philosophy to generate lower-carbon electricity at Keadby and in Ireland.

Could We See A Large HVO-Fuelled Power Station In The UK?

I wonder, if we’ll see a large HVO-fuelled power station in the UK?

It appears SSE and Siemens will have the technology and expertise.

I suspect it depends on there being large amounts of HVO available.


March 4, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Prince Madog Research Vessel To Be Powered By Hydrogen In £5.5M Transship II Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item from Bangor University.

This is the sub-heading.

The UK’s only fully seagoing research ship within the UK’s higher education sector, the Prince Madog, is set to reduce its emissions by up to 60% thanks to a pioneering £5.5 million hydrogen power initiative that could help re-shape the future of shipping.

This is the first paragraph.

The Transship II project is the largest retrofit of its kind to-date and will see the Prince Madog retrofitted with a hydrogen electric hybrid propulsion system that will enable zero to low emission operation by 2025.

And this paragraph describes the system.

The new hydrogen propulsion system, which will work in conjunction with a diesel-fuelled main engine, will enable zero emission operation at slow speeds or over short distances – such as daily teaching trips with the students from the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University. In normal operation, the hybrid system and new novel propulsion design will reduce emissions by up to 60%.

The whole news item is a must read.

The project is certainly a good start on using hydrogen, as a fuel for shipping.

March 4, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment