COP26 is the platform for the arrival of Scotland’s first hydrogen-powered train


Scotland is to have a production-ready and safety certified hydrogen powered train by November, 2021, in time for COP26 in Glasgow.

Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, based at the University of St Andrews, have appointed Arcola Energy and a consortium of industry-leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train. A key objective of the project is to create opportunities for the Scottish rail supply chain through skills development and industrialisation of the technology.

A Scotrail carriage on its way to Bo-Ness, passing The Kelpies at Grangemouth, Forth & Clyde Canal

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

The Consortium will demonstrate the hydrogen powered train during COP26 which runs from November 1-12, 2021. Arcola’s existing A-Drive platform will be extended to meet rail safety and compliance requirements, enabling the consortium to significantly reduce development time to deliver within 10 months.

The consortium includes:

  • Arcola Energy, project lead responsible for hydrogen fuel cell system engineering, design and integration, and project demonstration
  • AEGIS Certification Services will provide third party safety certification and compliance verification

Arup will use the experience to develop a roadmap to roll out hydrogen trains to support the decarbonisation of Scotland’s network.

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.


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