Porterbrook pushes hydrogen’s potential
The industry should be ambitious about the development of hydrogenpowered trains, Porterbrook Chief Executive Mary Grant told Transport Select Committee MPs on November 11.
She highlighted the work that the rolling stock leasing company is doing with its HydroFLEX Class 799 demonstrator, which has undertaken trips on the main line.
“That is an electric/hydrogen proposition,” she said. “There are solutions that can support the core electrification networks, but we must embrace hydrogen because it also creates a renewable industry that as an economy has an opportunity for us, with skills, jobs and support longer term over the next 30 years.
“That is why we are doing that type of technology and research and development with the University of Birmingham now.”
She said Porterbrook was developing rafts to fit under the ‘799’, so that it could operate longer distances to support more regional routes.
“That is a whole infrastructure that we are creating, learning from and working with. It is not just developing a train where we can say: ‘Right, that can go into passenger service’, because in isolation it cannot.
“We need capability for bringing green hydrogen, storing it. and then refuelling in the whole system to make it work.”