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Rail industry calls for green hydrogen and battery train order to spur post-Coronavirus economy

In its response to an All Party Parliamentary Group on Hydrogen’s inquiry, the Railway Industry Association, the trade body for UK rail suppliers, has called for investment in green hydrogen and battery trains as a way for the Government to spearheaded an environmentally-friendly economic recovery.

David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association, said:

“Today, in our submission to the APPG on Hydrogen, the Railway Industry Association and its members urge the Government to commit to an order of low carbon self-powered trains as a means of spurring a green economic recovery following the Coronavirus outbreak.

“Alongside a rolling programme of electrification for intensively used routes, hydrogen and battery technology can help decarbonise branch lines across the network, reducing the use of diesel trains. The technology already exists, but what is now needed is a commitment to a fleet order. Not only will this help achieve the UK’s decarbonisation goals, but it will stimulate a new market in the rail industry, generating jobs and investment across the country and creating a competitive advantage for UK plc as it looks to increase exports.

“We urge the Government to accelerate its plans and commit to an order – to help the sector best support the UK’s economic resurgence.”

Chair of the APPG on Hydrogen, Jacob Young MP, said:

“The APPG on Hydrogen welcomes the Railway Industry Association’s response to our inquiry into how the hydrogen sector can support the UK’s economic recovery. In particular, we are pleased with the assessment that hydrogen trains are a viable option for the UK rail network. Ensuring that rail transport transitions efficiently to carbon neutral alternatives is crucial to meeting the UK’s Net Zero targets.

“We look forward to working with the Government and industry on the best way forward to support hydrogen fuelled trains being rolled out as soon as possible and the RIA’s response will help inform our inquiry.”