the UK’s first hydrogen train

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The UK’s first hydrogen train was designed, developed and delivered in a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Porterbrook.  The founders of Vanguard led the University team that undertook the R&D that enabled the project to deliver a working demonstrator train in just 9 months! 

In three years the project has moved from the signing of a collaboration agreement in September 2018, to running the demonstrator train for passengers in June 2019 (and featuring live on BBC Breakfast!), to its first mainline trials with the Transport Secretary on board in September 2020, to running the fully-approved production version of HydroFLEX at COP26 in November 2021.


a modular, scalable hydrogen refuelling system

We are developing HydroHUB to meet a range of applications across multiple modes of transport.  

HydroHUB can be scaled to meet varying levels of demand during its lifetime with its size being optimised using Vanguard’s proprietary software to ensure maximum utilisation.  

It is a modular system that integrates electrolyser, compression and high pressure storage to provide rapid, repeatable refuelling for a range of transport demand requirements.

Real time remote monitoring of the train and the HUB ensures continuous refinement to guarantee a reliable supply of green hydrogen



The UK’s first mainline hydrogen locomotive

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This exciting project is being delivered in conjunction with the Severn Valley Railway and the University of Birmingham.

Shunter locomotives have very long asset lives given the specialist nature of their operational requirements and are ideally suited to retrofitting clean traction systems in place of the existing diesel engines.

This retrofit solution for shunter locomotives will deliver:

  • Considerable reduction in emissions given age of donor vehicle and significant idling time during operations - Zero emissions with hydrogen propulsion 

  • Significant reduction in maintenance costs anticipated (~50% of the diesel versions)

Click here to find out more