UK's First 'Silent' Trains Could Run On Ashby Line

By Graham Hill

7th Jan 2020 | Local News

  • Campaign group aiming to use hydrogen trains on proposed route
  • Climate change at the heart of silent train plans

ª Group feel the trains would fit in with National Forest Landscape

  • Trains have been described as 'the greenest around'

Ashby railway campaigners say the proposed Ivanhoe Line could run with the UK's first 'silent' hydrogen trains.

The Campaign for the Re-opening of the Ivanhoe Line hope to get the route reopened between Burton on Trent and Leicester.

New stations could then be built at Ashby, Coalville, Moira and Gresley, taking advantage of the National Forest and new housing estates.

But Ashby Nub News has learnt that, because of the much greater awareness of climate change, the group are keen to use the track as a pilot case for the use of hydrogen-powered trains.

Not only are these potentially carbon-neutral, they are also effectively silent and would reduce any impact on local residents.

They have been described as the greenest trains around and 'mini power stations on wheels'.

Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.

Carl Benfield, Vice-Chair of CRIL, which was set up a year ago, says the idea could be put forward as part of the Government's commitment to tackle climate change.

"At the moment, there are freight trains running along the line about twice a week.  The track will need upgrading in several areas, especially at the Leicester end where a large curve of track needs to be re-instated" he said.

"Using hydrogen as a fuel as a fuel source suits this project superbly - the line is  fairly short at 30 miles, and the expected speeds are up to 70 mph. 

"A silent train running through the beautiful National Forest will be a fantastic statement of the Government's commitment to a cleaner future."

A feasibility study has been set up with a view to gauging the realistic possibility of re-launching the line.

The results of that are expected by the end of the year.

For more information on the Campaign to Re-open the Ivanhoe line, click the red button below.


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