To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to support the production of hydrogen-powered trains.
23 May 2022
In our Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we have committed to delivering a net zero rail network by 2050. To help deliver the government’s net zero commitment, we will electrify most of the network and deploy battery and hydrogen trains on some lines, where it makes economic and operational sense.
The government is supporting the development of battery and hydrogen technology in rail through innovation funding and research. This includes work on safety and wider issues that will have to be considered to allow battery and hydrogen trains smooth entry onto the network. Since the start of 2019, the Department has provided just over £4m of funding through Innovate UK-run First of a Kind competitions for new traction technologies that will help decarbonise the railway. This includes £750,000 to facilitate trials of the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train, HydroFLEX, which was showcased at COP 26.
We are also engaging with industry to determine what technological solutions are open to us, as well as how technologies such as hydrogen can best be utilised on our network.