Is hydrogen the answer?

PenneyVanderbilt

RailEngineerRail Engineer

Rail Engineer’s feature on hydrogen trains in the January issue (issue 159) raised the possibility that, despite its good green credentials, the rail industry’s use of rail diesel traction could soon become unacceptable. A few weeks later, Transport Minister Jo Johnson said exactly this in a speech stating that he wished to see “all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040” and saw “alternative-fuel trains powered entirely by hydrogen” to be a prize on the horizon. His speech also called on the industry to provide a vision for how it plans to decarbonise and report back by the autumn.

That recent feature on hydrogen trains concluded that, in the long-term, the replacement of DMUs by HMUs is a realistic goal. Readers may also have gathered that Rail Engineer is a fan of hydrogen. Not only does it provide zero emissions and a possible zero-carbon means of transport but, as…

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