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Next stop, hydrogen-powered train

wallpapers Business 2020-03-04 >

As older diesel trains around the world are gradually withdrawing from the railway network, the UK is about to test a new engine that may help the railways decarbonize hydrogen-powered trains.

On the platform, it looks like an ordinary British commuter train. But when hundreds of passengers boarded the train, they saw an unusual sight. In the compartment, passengers are encouraged to sit around four hydrogen fuel tanks, a fuel cell, and two lithium batteries. The train's hydrogen-powered system produces enough energy to travel a train between 50 and 75 miles. The train named "Hydroflex" was the first hydrogen-powered train in the UK.

Some people worry about whether hydrogen is safe as a fuel source. But hydrogen-powered trains have become a viable and safe vehicle.

But hydrogen trains also face some challenges.

"We store about 20 kilograms of hydrogen," said Stuart Hillmanson, a professor at the University of Birmingham and head of the Hydroflex project. "This allows the fuel cell to run for three hours. Therefore, long-distance travel is not yet feasible." University of Birmingham Railway Research and Engineers at the education center are studying how to extend these restrictions.

That said, storing gas can be a problem. This is also a space issue on the train. This problem may need to be solved by upgrading the bearings used on the train.

But engineers emphasize that Hydroflex is more than just a demonstration of hydrogen power technology-it will become a viable commercial train.

Mainline testing is expected to begin in March or April this year. The train needs a long list of approvals to be considered safe for commercial use, but those involved in the project estimate that Hydroflex will be fully operational within two years from now. This is probably one of the most anticipated arrivals in the country.

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