Breeze hydrogen trains to be Class 600s

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Class 600: visual of Alstom and Eversholt Rail’s hydrogen conversion of Class 321 EMUs.

The Breeze hydrogen trains being developed by Eversholt Rail and Alstom are to be Class 600s, the companies have confirmed. They say the first converted trains could enter service in 2024.

Alstom and Eversholt Rail have confirmed a further £1 million investment in developing the concept, which is a conversion of Class 321 EMUs. The work will be undertaken by Alstom at its Widnes Transport Technology Centre, and Alstom says Widnes will become its worldwide centre of excellence for hydrogen conversion when the project is in series production, creating over 200 high quality engineering jobs. The conversion follows Alstom’s introduction of hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint trains in Germany in 2018.

The Breeze units are targeted at replacement of diesel trains on regional lines, and a three-car Class 600 would provide passenger capacity equivalent to a two-car DMU. Northern has been working with Alstom and Eversholt to develop options for introducing a fleet of Breeze units in the Tees Valley area, working services from Middlesbrough to Nunthorpe, Bishop Auckland and Saltburn.