Alstom and rolling stock operating company Eversholt Rail have unveiled the design of a new hydrogen train for the UK.

Codenamed Breeze, the train will be developed by converting the existing Class 321 trains.

Alstom will convert the Class 321 trains in collaboration with Eversholt Rail at its Widnes facility in the UK.

The converted Hydrogen Multiple Units (HMU) are expected to run throughout the UK in 2022. Equipped with hydrogen tanks and fuel cells, these clean trains will release only water as waste with no harmful emissions.

The introduction of the hydrogen trains in the UK rail sector will support the government’s plan to withdraw diesel rolling stock by 2040.

“The Breeze will be a clean new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look.

Alstom UK & Ireland managing director Nick Crossfield said: “The Breeze will be a clean new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look. The railways need to decarbonise and the government has rightly set out a goal to eliminate diesel rolling stock by 2040.

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“Hydrogen trains offer an ideal solution for routes that are unlikely to benefit from electrification, and our innovative engineering solution means they can now fit within the UK loading gauge and can quickly be ready to roll on Britain’s railways.”

Alstom and Eversholt Rail have completed the initial comprehensive engineering study. Currently, they are working with associated industry stakeholders to develop the business cases and devise the introduction plans of the Breeze fleet and their fueling infrastructure.

The final design of the hydrogen train is prepared to fit into the standard UK loading gauge, as well as accommodate more passengers.

UK Rail Minister Andrew Jones said: “We are working with the industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes.”

In September last year, two Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains started operating in Germany.