Author Topic: Hydrogen train  (Read 1563 times)


  • On top of the Galibier
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2019, 10:38:40 pm »
Given that bogies can be swapped out, metal welded and everything else can be renewed (and should be renewed at sensible intervals) there's no excuse for coaches not to be of that sort of age, and with the likes of the HST engine replacements should give them another 20 to 30 years from that point in time provided the chassis and skin are maintained.

Out of interest, are modern trains all body on chassis as well, or do any use semi-monocoque structures? Or is train performance weight-insensitive enough that it's worth overbuilding for long life and ease of maintenance?

The quick answer is "Yes"  ;)

The long answer is that since the early 1970's coaches have been manufactured in a sort of semi-monocoque structure in as much as there is no separate chassis, although there are some structural members incorporated in the underside of the body.

In the UK, British Rail (and its predecessors) used a chassis/body structure up until the end of Mark 1 production in the late 60's. I *think* the early mark 2 coaches onwards were semi-monocoque, but everything since the mark 3 in the early 1970's was definitely of a non-chassis design.

Train performance is definitely weight sensitive. The lighter the train is, the faster you can go with the same power input! But, you have to incorporate safety structures, as well as ensuring that the seats and other things incorporated in the train are robust enough to last for the required lifetime to the first refurbishment. It's no use making a really light coach with extra light seats if you have to send it for refurbishment after 5 years instead of 10.

Born to ride my bike, forced to work! ;)

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  • 2nd in the world
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2019, 12:12:23 pm »
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...


  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 12:20:07 pm »
Suggests it's only really a good idea when neither electricity nor diesel are suitable.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)


  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Hydrogen train
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2019, 05:56:29 pm »
Institution of Mechanical Engineers says: Hydrogen trains needed to eliminate harmful emissions on non-electrified lines.
The thrust of their thinking seems to be that electrification should be resumed and hydrogen trains, using hydrogen from industrial processes, should replace diesels on the lines where electrification is impossible or impractical.
“Until recently, diesel engines were the only practicable option for self-powered rail vehicles. Yet diesel fumes in city centres are becoming increasingly unacceptable as shown by proposals for ultra low emission zones as well as the Government’s call to remove diesel-only trains by 2040.

“The recent introduction of a hydrogen powered trains on rural routes in Germany offers a solution which needs further development for operation in the UK. However, storing hydrogen requires significantly more space than diesel fuel. For this reason, hydrogen is not suitable for high-powered rail traction and so should not be considered as an alternative to electrification.”

"The Future for hydrogen trains in the UK"recommends three priority areas for action:

That the UK Government rethinks the cancellation of electrification programmes and moves forward with a more innovative, and long-term approach, electrification rolling programme, that can create skills and careers, develop supply chains, and work with existing rail networks to manage projects.
That the industry encourages the development and deployment of hydrogen trains and their fuelling and servicing facilities. Creating and supporting demonstration lines and trains will help to de-risk the technologies and servicing relating to hydrogen fuels and trains.
That hydrogen train technology is developed in industrial areas where hydrogen production already occurs, and can support the wider transport system. For example, as well as local trains, local hydrogen buses could be refuelled at an industrial site, and hydrogen could also be pumped into the gas grid to help decarbonise heat. Both the North West and the North East could support test beds. These test beds will support knowledge sharing across sectors, providing cost reductions in hydrogen fuel.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)