COP26 to showcase HydroFLEX hydrogen train

HydroFLEX, the UK's first hydrogen-powered train featuring a fuel storage system developed by Luxfer Gas Cylinders, will operate from Glasgow during November’s COP26 climate conference.


From its alternative fuel facility in Nottingham, Luxfer developed and assembled the train's four-cylinder hydrogen fuel storage system featuring its G-Stor H2 hydrogen cylinders. The company worked closely with Porterbrook and Birmingham University’s Centre for Railway Research, whose engineers designed and built the HydroFLEX.

Mark Lawday, a director at Luxfer Gas Cylinders, said that hydrogen provides a ‘clean, viable and effective’ fuel alternative. The company supplied bespoke fuel systems for a multi-million-pound project integrating hydrogen technology into 60 trucks this year, each featuring a 190kW fuel cell comprised of seven high-pressure tanks holding around 35kg of hydrogen, providing a long-distance range of more than 400km before refuelling.

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“With an alternative fuel legacy spanning two decades, we’ve been involved in several ‘world-first’ hydrogen transport projects, producing bespoke fuel storage systems for double decker buses, refuse trucks and even the Energy Observer boat, currently on a worldwide voyage which will form part of the celebrations in Tokyo this summer,” Lawday commented.

HydroFLEX has a hydrogen powerpack fitted to an existing Class 319 train and will eventually be able to run on conventional electrified routes, offering a range of around 600 miles and requiring re-fuelling only once a day, Luxfer said.

It is hoped that the train, which also includes an on-board boardroom, may be used to transport and host COP26 visitors. This year’s event, the 26th in the series, will be held in Glasgow from 1-12 November and aims to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.