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John Armstrong's picture
Chief Operating Officer, BPA

John Armstrong is an engineer whose career has spanned the extremes of the energy industry – giving him a front-row seat on the energy roller-coaster. He began his career constructing oil...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Sep 30, 2020

Interesting to see this! I'm not 100% convinced that rail is the right application for Hydrogen - but I suppose time will tell. We also need to crack the carbon intensity of the supply side. Hydrogen is still mostly incredibly carbon intensive so there is a long way to go.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 30, 2020

The prototype, called the Hydroflex, made a 25-mile round trip in Warwickshire, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph.

Its next phase is to move the hydrogen tanks, fuel cell and battery out of a carriage and stash them underneath the train.

The aim is for the train to start carrying paying passengers by the end of 2021.

I agree with your uncertainty on if this is the right application, John-- if this hydrogen were coming more as a byproduct or readily generated via overbuilt renewable assets, then it'd be a great opportunity to use that energy. But as it stands today, this looks like a lot of energy-intensive and carbon-intensive effort for what right now is small time in terms of application

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Oct 2, 2020

Well, I don't like the aesthetics of over-head power lines, so I think hydrogen (or ammonia) powered trains are a step up from pure electrics.  I actually live in a "modern" neighborhood, with underground power lines.


I suppose battery powered trains could work too, for a price ...

John Armstrong's picture
Thank John for the Post!
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