Trains: Fuel Cells

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential for hydrogen trains to operate on the UK rail network in the next five years.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

In February 2018 the Government challenged the rail industry to produce a vision for how all diesel-only trains could be removed from the rail network by 2040. In response, an industry taskforce, led by Malcom Brown, has identified hydrogen alongside electrification and battery power as technologies that can be used to decarbonise rail.

The Department is working to accelerate the development of new low-carbon technologies so that they can be deployed on the network as soon as possible. We are currently funding a project that will see the UK's first operating hydrogen train tested on Network Rail’s mainline infrastructure.

We are working with Network Rail to develop a decarbonisation strategy that will identify appropriate decarbonisation technologies, including hydrogen, for each part of our rail network. This strategy will ensure that rail makes its contribution to achieving the Government’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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