UK MP Derek Twigg has called on the government to invest in hydrogen rail.
Twigg made the comments during a virtual visit to Alstom’s Widnes site as the train manufacturer presented the decarbonisation challenge facing the rail sector and the role hydrogen rail can play in reducing transport emissions in the UK.
Alstom showcased its hydrogen train programme, in partnership with Eversholt Rail, to fast-track the hydrogen train industry in the UK with its hydrogen-powered train named Breeze – an entirely new class of train, the first-ever 600 series.
The virtual visit follows Alstom and Eversholt Rail’s recent announcement of a further investment of £1m to help Breeze be ready for early deployment in the UK to meet the government’s need to decarbonise the rail industry.
Twigg commented, “It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from both Alstom and the Railway Industry Association about the hard-work that is going in to keeping the railways running during the pandemic and the pipeline of exciting projects ahead that will see the UK pioneer the hydrogen rail sector.”
“The government has a duty to realise the potential the North West holds in becoming the country’s hydrogen hub, starting with the investment in hydrogen rail such as the Breeze here in my own constituency at Widnes.”
“I am hugely thankful to both Alstom and RIA for hosting the virtual visit and call on my fellow MPs to engage with their local rail suppliers to see the incredible work they continue to carry out and the innovative ways they can revolutionise our railways.”
John Clerk, Head of Operations (Widnes) at Alstom, said, “We are grateful for Derek’s support for our exciting hydrogen train programme – we truly believe hydrogen rail will lead the charge in decarbonising the UK’s railways and welcome his call on government to seize the opportunity to invest in the North West as the country’s hydrogen hub, with our Breeze train at its core.”