Hydrogen-powered train planned for Scotland

By Jack Burke12 January 2021

Demonstration planned for COP26 in Glasgow

Ballard Power Systems received an order from UK-based Arcola Energy for Ballard FCmove-HD fuel cell modules to power a passenger train planned for demonstration during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be hosted by Glasgow in November 2021.

This project will contribute to Scotland’s goal for net-zero emissions by 2035, Ballard said.

Ballard announces order for modules to power Scotland’s first fuel cell-powered train.

Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, based at the University of St. Andrews, have appointed Arcola and a consortium of industry leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen-powered train. Arcola is a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell integration, specializing in zero-emission solutions for heavy-duty vehicles and transport applications.

The consortium will convert a Class 314 car passenger train, made available by ScotRail, into a deployment-ready and certified platform for hydrogen-powered train development. The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway will provide engineering facilities and support for testing and public demonstrations.

“Hydrogen traction power offers a safe, reliable and zero-carbon alternative for Scotland’s rail network,” said Dr. Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy. “The hydrogen train project is an excellent opportunity for industry leaders in hydrogen, rail engineering and safety to collaborate with Scottish and other technology providers to develop a deployment ready solution.”

Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer said the project is an example of the growing global interest in fuel cells for the medium- and heavy-duty motive market, including rail applications, where heavy payload, long range and rapid refueling are key customer requirements.

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