Ballard Motive Solutions (BMS) is leading a feasibility study to examine the viability of deploying hydrogen-powered trains as a replacement for diesel services on the Welsh rail network. The study is funded by the Welsh Government's Hydrogen Business Research and Innovation for Decarbonisation (HyBRID) small business research initiative (SBRI).
Launched in December 2021, the four-month project will assess operational, route, rolling stock and power requirements and provide a set of design and functional conditions for the development of Welsh hydrogen train capabilities and capacity. The final report will present recommendations for the most appropriate application of these assets for successful hydrogen deployment.
BMS will partner with global engineering and consulting firm, Arup, who will share their knowledge and experience of the rail and energy sector. BMS will also utilise its cross-sector transportation, power demand and storage expertise to optimise operational opportunities on key Welsh routes.
The scheme aims to develop innovative, explorative solutions which support the ten objectives of the Welsh Government's Wales Hydrogen Pathway – elements incorporated into the Net Zero Wales 2021-25 carbon reduction plan. These focus on accelerating the development of technologies and processes which enable the deployment of hydrogen as a key energy vector, which will be critical for meeting the 2040 target of removing all diesel-only trains from the network, and the national commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.