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Chrysalis Fabrication

Chrysalis Rail contribute to the successful launch of HydroFLEX – the UK’s first operational hydrogen powered train.

Rail Live 2019 saw the successful launch of the UK’s first, operational hydrogen-powered train, HydroFLEX. Led by Porterbrook Leasing and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), the class 319 electric unit has been converted to allow both organisations to demonstrate how this fuel-of-the-future might be deployed across the UK’s rail network.

Over 5,000 visitors attended Rail Live over two days at the home of Chrysalis Rail, the Quinton Rail Technology Centre in Long Marston. Visitors were able to board the HydroFLEX vehicle and take a journey on the train as it travelled around the Long Marston site testing track.

Earlier this year, Rail Minister Jo Johnson MP challenged the rail industry to develop de-carbonisation plans, with the objective of removing diesel-only trains from the network by 2040. HydroFLEX has been Porterbrook and BCRRE’s innovative response to this challenge, bringing together industry and academia in partnership to deliver the UK’s first-in-class, clean energy passenger train.

Chrysalis Rail formed an integral part of the project team from concept stage and consultation to delivery. Chrysalis conducted all of the vehicle preparation work including the stripping out of the interior and seating and preparing the train for the hydrogen and fuel cell installation. The team supported the installation of the fuel cells and hydrogen into the vehicle and then assisted during the testing stages and whilst operational at Rail Live.

Chris Steele, managing director of Chrysalis Rail commented, “when we first discussed the concept with Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham, we were immediately interested in being involved in this first-in-class project. As a business, we specialise in the transformation of rolling stock, whether that’s re-livery, total overhaul and refurbishment or the re-purposing of vehicles on projects such as this. We’re also very aware of our environmental footprint so if there are opportunities to help find solutions to create a greener, more environmentally-friendly railway then we are always going to embrace these types of collaborative projects. This is a fantastic achievement for the rail industry and we are delighted to have played a part in it.”

Chrysalis Rail operate across the UK delivering rolling stock refurbishment and refresh programmes for a variety of customers. To find out more about Chrysalis Rail and the services offered, please explore the website or you can follow on Linked In and Twitter.

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