Train being converted to hydrogen power by Arcola Energy17 September 2021

Transport minister Graeme Dey (centre) at the project

Arcola Energy is converting a former ScotRail Class 314 electric train to hydrogen fuel cell technology as part of a programme to demonstrate the role hydrogen-powered trains can play in decarbonising Scottish railways by 2035. The Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and University of St Andrews backed project will see the demonstration of a deployment-ready hydrogen-powered train during the COP26 climate conference.

Transport minister Graeme Dey visited Arcola Energy’s rail engineering team working on the Scottish Hydrogen Train project at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

In July, Scottish transport minister Graeme Dey visited the project. He said: “The team is clearly demonstrating that hydrogen provides another available option to tackle the challenge of removing diesel as a source of power on our rail network.

“Our Decarbonisation Action Plan and its associated infrastructure investment, including hydrogen powered-trains, represents a significant undertaking. This requires careful, in-depth planning and design to ensure that we deliver the right projects at the right time which - when complete - will bring many benefits to local communities, businesses and rail users across Scotland. This project is tangible evidence of our commitment to make good on that plan.”

Rolling stock asset manager Angel Trains is supporting the project with an investment of more than £500k in a flexible refueller installation delivering green hydrogen. This investment will also enable further development and testing of the technology. The Scottish Hydrogen Train project is the first rail project incorporating a dedicated green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

Arcola Energy has started work on a manufacturing facility at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc in Dundee which will employ up to 135 people over a three-year period and established a rail engineering facility at Bo’ness employing eight people. Arcola will also open a new service centre in Glasgow with seven technicians.

The aim is to run the Scottish Hydrogen Train at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway during COP26. On completion of the project, the train will be available for local suppliers and academics to test and develop hydrogen technology.

Operations Engineer

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