Three innovative British companies sign partnership agreement to develop hydrogen solutions for rail

Photo: (L-R) Jon Constable (tpgroup), Tom Chicken (Fuel Cell Systems), Jeff Allan (Vanguard STS), Kathryn Clamp (kc4business), Stuart Hillmansen (Vanguard STS), Charles Calvert (Vanguard STS) (credit: Rail Alliance)

Three innovative British companies have today announced the signing of a three-way partnership agreement to develop hydrogen fuelling solutions for the transport industry.

The three companies – Fuel Cell Systems Ltd, tpgroup and Vanguard Sustainable Transport Solutions – will explore opportunities to develop a range of services including on-site hydrogen generation, storage and dispensing with an initial focus on the rail sector.

The collaboration brings together three companies with a breadth of experience who will take forward a highly innovative collaboration to develop hydrogen infrastructure. This supporting infrastructure will be critical to the deployment of hydrogen as an important energy source to decarbonise the transport sector.

The signing of the three-way partnership was facilitated by kc4business bringing together these three Rail Alliance community companies to collaborate on this project.

Their initial focus is on the development of a portable, modular refuelling solution for the rail sector. This will build on the refuelling system currently being used by HydroFLEX – the UK’s first hydrogen train, developed by Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham.

By partnering in this manner, the three companies will be able to exploit their capabilities to accelerate the development of hydrogen infrastructure for the transport sector.

Charles Calvert, Chief Engineer of Vanguard Sustainable Transport Solutions, says,

“This partnership is a hugely exciting opportunity to accelerate the development and delivery of the supporting infrastructure needed to introduce hydrogen trains. We have built a fantastic working partnership with Fuel Cell Systems and TP Group – two fellow British companies focused on innovation and sustainability. We are looking forward to bringing to market the solutions that will enable hydrogen to play a major role in powering the future transport sector.”

Phil Cartmell, Chief Executive Officer of TP Group, says,

“We are very pleased to join the team working on the HydroFLEX project. Together the three companies bring a wealth of specialist experience and technologies and can apply these to prove the solutions in real-world situations. Our joint goal is then to explore global opportunities for hydrogen-based transport solutions, and to be an influential part of this rapidly growing market sector.”

Tom Chicken, Chief Technical Officer of Fuel Cell Systems Ltd says,

“We are delighted to be involved in this partnership to deliver innovative and practical solutions for the rail industry. Having provided the hydrogen refuelling service for the HydroFLEX project, as well as a range of modular solutions up to 700 bar for the wider transport sector, we are well placed to expand this service alongside our new partners. Hydrogen is a clean technology, with a key role to play in decarbonising the rail industry.”