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Ricardo partners on innovative hydrogen-electric train trial

  • Date 3 Aug 2022

Ricardo, in partnership with Scottish Power, Network Rail Scotland and the University of Leeds, have received next phase energy sector funding to develop their innovative Holistic Hydrogen Approach to Heavy Duty Transport (H2H) project, which aims to be a catalyst that will help the UK remove all diesel trains from the network by 2040.

The trial, which will help the UK accelerate achieving its net zero ambitions, received funding for an earlier ‘Discovery’ phase, but has now been granted ‘Alpha Project’ funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). This funding mechanism launched in 2021 by energy industry regulator Ofgem and Innovate UK fast-tracks ambitious projects which aim to accelerate the transition over time away from costly imported gas supplies to more homegrown, decarbonised energy at the lowest cost to consumers and turn the UK into a centre of energy innovation. Under the transport theme, three rail projects sought funding, but Ricardo’s was the only one to be successful in its bid.

The project will pilot the use of green hydrogen, produced via renewable energy sources, to test prototype hydrogen-electric trains with the eventual aim of replacing diesel trains on rural routes in Scotland by 2035. Using renewable electricity that might otherwise be under-utilised, benefits the electricity system and its customers, while hydrogen-electric trains offer the acceleration, low pollution and quiet journey valued by passengers. 

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