Wind of change: computer-generated impression of ‘Breeze’ HMU.

ALSTOM AND Eversholt Rail have unveiled the design of their proposed hydrogen conversion of Class 321 EMUs. Codenamed ‘Breeze’, the companies say the trains could enter service as early as 2022, emitting only water and no harmful emissions. The conversion will be carried out by Alstom at the company’s Widnes modernisation facility.

The companies say the ‘321’ is an excellent fit for conversion to a hydrogen multiple-unit (HMU) in terms of characteristics, fleet size and availability. Work is ongoing with industry stakeholders to develop business cases and evaluate detailed introduction plans for the units along with the associated fuelling infrastructure. This follows an initial engineering study and the finalising of the train design concept, which has created what the companies say will be the first solution to allow a hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge.

In September 2018 Alstom introduced its Coradia iLint hydrogen train in Germany, where the type now operates in regular passenger service