Introducing HydroFLEX (aka what has been keeping us so busy recently???!)

Well the secret is now fairly well-known.  Over the last 9 months, we at BCRRE have been working with our friends at Porterbrook to design and build HydroFLEX, the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train.

Train 799001 was launched to the public on Wednesday (19 June 2019) at Rail Live – a major UK rail trade show held at Quinton Rail Technology Centre near Stratford-upon-Avon, which is where we have been developing and testing HydroFLEX ready for demonstration.

The project emerged at Rail Live 2018 when a conversation between us and our friends at Porterbrook formulated a plot to develop a bi-mode hydrogen/electric train using a Class 319 train (that used to run on Thameslink services until a couple of years ago).  We signed an agreement in September 2018 at Innotrans in Berlin and it has then been  full-on 9 months of turning that ambition into reality!

And it is fair to say we achieved the first major target – delivering a working demonstrator at Rail Live 2019… Even more satisfying is the news that we have secured Government funding at last to move to Phase 2 of developing HydroFLEX which is to take 799001 out onto the mainline for testing in an operational environment later this year.

I will let some of the press coverage illustrate the crazy last couple of days:

And something else really cool… I got to drive HydroFLEX as well – here’s the evidence… 😉


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