In less than five months’ time, the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train will operate from Glasgow during the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

Dubbed HydroFLEX, the train has been designed and built by engineers from Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research.

Working closely with those engineers was Luxfer Gas Cylinders which has supplied a four-cylinder hydrogen fuel storage system, featuring G-Stor® H2 hydrogen cylinders.

The HydroFLEX is just one of a number of pioneering projects Luxfer experts have helped to deliver that are helping drive carbon reduction initiatives across the globe.

Further to that, HydroFLEX has a hydrogen powerpack fitted to an existing Class 319 train to ensure it can run on conventional electrified routes - offering a range of around 600 miles and requiring re-fuelling only once a day.

“Hydrogen provides a really clean, viable and effective fuel alternative and we’re proud to showcase our industry-leading expertise to political leaders and climate experts, who will see HydroFLEX first-hand at COP26,” said Mark Lawday, Director at Luxfer Gas Cylinders.

“With an alternative fuel legacy spanning two decades, we’ve been involved in several ‘world first’ hydrogen transport projects, producing bespoke fuel storage systems for double decker buses, refuse trucks and even the Energy Observer boat, currently on a worldwide voyage which will form part of the celebrations in Tokyo this summer.”

Helen Simpson, Porterbrook’s Innovation and Projects Director, added, “We are very excited to be working with Network Rail to take our new build HydroFLEX to Glasgow in time for COP26.

“This is a great opportunity for Porterbrook, and our supply chain partners, to show the world how the best of British engineering can build and deliver a sustainable railway.”



Bringing together world leaders for key climate talks, this year’s event, the 26th in the series, will be hosted in Glasgow from November 1-12. Including an address from Sir David Attenborough the COP26 Peoples Advocate for the UKs Presidency of the UN, the conference aims to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As part of the event, delegates are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century – with alternative fuel transport solutions, particularly hydrogen-powered innovations, high on the sustainability agenda