Angel Trains, the UK’s largest rolling stock company, has partnered with the University of St Andrews to support an innovative hydrogen train project, which could change the future of rail travel as we know it.
On Friday 29th September, an event was held to mark the donation of a hydrogen electrolyser to the university by Angel Trains. This will form an integral part of ongoing, cutting-edge green hydrogen research.
During the event, guests toured the Eden Campus and listened to how the electrolyser will contribute to the University’s plans to develop a Green Hydrogen Accelerator – a purpose-built innovation centre for research and development.
The donation of the hydrogen electrolyser follows the support that Angel Trains provided to the University of St Andrews, and other industry partners, in delivering Scotland’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered train. The project entailed the conversion of a three-car Class 314 train to a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain. The electrolyser was key to enabling the trial to successfully demonstrate how a green-energy fuel cycle would work, which is a major step in getting hydrogen-powered trains off the ground.
The Zero Emissions project also marked a significant step forward for the industry in laying the foundations for the future of rail travel, creating cleaner transport, and supporting the drive to achieve net zero targets by 2045.
Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “We continue to invest heavily in green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and innovation, to help drive down operational costs and to make trains the cleanest and greenest mode of long-distance travel.
“The electrolyser offers the university a huge amount of learning for its students, which has real-world benefits, as well as giving them hands-on experience with sustainable travel solutions. We look forward to seeing the further benefits the electrolyser will bring to accelerate the decarbonisation of the rail industry.”
Professor John Irvine from the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews added: “It’s wonderful to get the chance to thank Angel Trains for their generous contribution and celebrate the continued research this has allowed us to carry out.
“To ramp-up the deployment of zero emission technologies, it is imperative that we collaborate with commercial organisations who are making decisions about long-term assets. I’d like to commend Angel Trains for actively engaging with us in our efforts towards achieving a more sustainable rail sector”.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony concluded the event, with industry professionals and government officials hearing speeches from Malcolm Brown, Dr Paul Webb and Professor John Irvine on a greener future and how the electrolyser would be used for future research at the university.