Germany has unveiled a zero-emissions train that only emits water

I had this discussion with my brother on the way past the London - West Country line when we passed through Swindon the other day. The gantries that hold the electric wires for electric trains are a real eye sore. I think hydrogen trains are the way forward; less destruction of trees around train lines, less associated infrastructure and the same end goal achieved.

I think that hydrogen is an important means to balance the grid in a 100% renewable future as well. When there are peaks of renewable energy production water can be electrolysed to produce hydrogen (pretty cheaply) and then that can be used in transport.

Would be useful to have other people’s opinions on this - do we go electric or hydrogen in the future of powering railways? Perhaps @TinaFOSBR being our resident railway expert will have an opinion?


Thanks for the prod - at present Network Rail are unlikely to get the funding to put up more wires but ViaRail have been trialing hydrogen and battery trains. I have suggested to WECA several times that they could buy battery or hydrogen rolling stock but the problem would be fuelling and maintaining them - much as would be the case for trams. In the mean time I guess we could approach GWR, but they tend to be dependent on second hand trains cascaded from luckier regions such as London to Didcot which do have overhead wires. Third rail electrification has been discontinued as it is unsafe.