Entering a zero carbon era

Scotland’s ambitious plans to decarbonise its rail network by 2035 depends on innovation in rolling stock and infrastructure. Siemens is ready with proven technology to make passenger rail genuinely zero emission

Proven technology: Siemens’ Mireo Plus H hydrogen train is soon to enter fleet service. A UK derivative could offer a compelling solution for decarbonising routes where electrification is not feasible.

There is little question that Scotland is leading the rest of the UK when it comes to decarbonising rail travel. The country plans to eliminate diesel trains on the passenger railway by 2035 and is starting an ambitious and comprehensive fleet replacement programme.

Fundamentally, there are three ways to decarbonise rail. The first and most comprehensive is electrification, but there are routes where creating a business case is virtually impossible and others where the National Grid infrastructure isn’t available to support putting the wires up.

As the map on p2 shows, Siemens has studied Scotland’s rail network extensively and concludes that a mixture of electrification, hydrogen fuel cell and battery power could bring decarbonisation of the passenger railway forward from the Scottish Government’s targets. Managing Director of Rolling Stock and Customer Service Sambit Banerjee is confident: ‘We are ready,’ he says.

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