First UK hydrogen train takes passengers for a ride

hydrogen train

It may not be the most luxurious of trains, but the first hydrogen-powered locomotive in the UK has now shown that it can haul up to 4 tonnes for 2.7 kilometres.

Built by a team led by Stuart Hillmansen from the University of Birmingham, UK, for a competition, the hybrid design uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power electric motors and charge batteries similar to those used in cars. The batteries help keep the train going while it is accelerating, which requires more power than when it’s coasting along.

The locomotive stores hydrogen in a tank that can hold over 5000 litres at low pressure, but it could carry two more tanks to increase its range. A hydrogen-powered canal boat at the university has 10 such tanks.

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