HydroFLEX, a project led by Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham has successfully undertaken its first mainline test this week. The UK’s first hydrogen powered train is the culmination of almost two years development work by representatives from across industry and academia. Chrysalis has been involved in the project since its inception to lead on the vehicle preparation and support installation.
Chrysalis Rail has been a part of the project team from concept stage and consultation to delivery. The team have been carrying out vehicle preparation work including the stripping out of the vehicle interior and seating to prepare the train for the hydrogen and fuel cell installation. The team supported the installation of the fuel cells and hydrogen into the vehicle and assisted during the testing stages for Rail Live 2019. Chrysalis has recently been working with Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham to ensure the unit acquired the approvals needed to transition into mainline testing as well as carrying out cosmetic work to the unit.
Chris Steele, managing director of Chrysalis Rail commented, “Chrysalis are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work on such a pivotal project; one that will help to shape a greener future for the industry. Sustainability is an important focus for our business, and as such, we hope to continue to play a key role in delivering a sustainable railway. HydroFLEX has been a fantastic example of cross industry collaborative working to achieve a common goal.”
HydroFLEX has been Porterbrook and BCRRE’s innovative response to the de-carbonisation challenge set by UK government aiming to remove diesel-only trains from the network by 2040. Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP had the opportunity to visit the unit during testing earlier this week, and commented: “As we continue on our road to a green recovery, we know that to really harness the power of transport to improve our country – and to set a global gold standard – we must truly embed change. That’s why I’m delighted that through our plans to build back better we are embracing the power of hydrogen and the more sustainable, greener forms of transport it will bring.”
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “Porterbrook is committed to innovation and the delivery of a carbon neutral and sustainable railway. Today’s mainline testing of HydroFLEX achieves another important milestone on this journey. I’m also delighted to be able to announce our intention to start producing HydroFLEX trains, creating the world’s first electric and hydrogen powered bi-mode rolling stock, as well as generating significant opportunities for the UK supply chain.”
Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, says: “The University of Birmingham is setting the pace for rail innovation both in the UK and globally. The HydroFLEX project is a great example of how world-class R&D, together with the right industry partnerships, can deliver decarbonisation technologies that are both innovative and practical.”
Chrysalis Rail operate across the UK delivering rolling stock refurbishment and modification programmes. To find out more about Chrysalis Rail and the services we offer, please explore the website or you can follow our business on Linked In and Twitter.