SCOTLAND is on track for hydrogen-powered trains as part of a new rail revolution that is set to see the energy of the future providing green public transport across the country.

The first trains powered by the new fuel are now being trialled and manufactured in the UK, and the refuelling infrastructure currently planned for Glasgow would be able to provide power for major public transport projects such as trains and buses, according to industry expert Mark Griffin, who is the hydrogen lead at BOC.

The plans include a move by the renewables arm of ScottishPower which has linked with BOC and ITM Power under the Green Hydrogen for Scotland banner to push forward the construction of a new clean energy production facility near Whitelee Wind in South Lanarkshire.

The initial plan is to create 10 megawatts electrolyser to produce hydrogen from water.

READ MORE: Scotland to trial world's first hydrogen-powered ferry in Orkney

Earlier this month the first hydrogen-powered train to run on the UK mainline was trialled in Warwickshire.

Trains are being manufactured as part of the Breeze hydrogen plan south of the Border. Eversholt Rail and Alstom, which is behind the Coradia iLint, also plan to fast-track the hydrogen train industry in the UK after a further £1 million investment in British hydrogen trains, to creating a new class of train called the 600 series.

The ground-breaking technology behind the trains is also expected will also be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains, it is claimed.

Eyes have also been following the progress of Linde, of which BOC is part, in Europe.

Mr Griffin said: “As a company we’ve been learning from our German colleagues at Linde around what they’ve been doing with that first deployment of trains in Germany, and we’ve started to model out what that looks like.

“So we have a model for what the refuelling infrastructure will look like."

READ MORE: World’s largest zero emission hydrogen flight test in Scotland

He said: “The development has been really exciting. I know Alstom and Eversholt have really stepped up and put more of investment into developing the Breeze train, and also the recent developments around the HydroFlex solution as well.

“I think even two, two and a half years ago, they didn’t think trains and planes were going to be possible, and the likes of Alstom and ZeroAvia are actually changing people’s minds on that, absolutely. If we took Glasgow, for example, having a 20 megawatt electrolyser which can produce eight tonnes a day is perfect for meeting those large volume demands which a fleet of trains would bring.”

It comes as Scotland prepares for more hydrogen firsts, including the world’s first hydrogen-powered ferry trials which are imminent in Orkney.

Aberdeen City Council last week took delivery of the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus, which First Group will run using BOC’s refuelling depot at Kittybrewster.

READ MORE: Glasgow’s buses to go green in new clean hydrogen fuel project

Mr Griffin said Glasgow, set to launch the world’s largest fleet of hydrogen-powered refuse trucks, is also a pioneer in the field. The UK Hydrogen for Transport Programme is providing £6.3m of funding for a refuelling station and 19 hydrogen-powered refuse vehicles in Glasgow as part of that project.

Hydrogen is also being used in the first commercial-scale trial of an aeroplane with California-based ZeroAvia poised to travel around 300 miles from Orkney to the Scottish mainland to demonstrate the endurance capabilities of the aircraft. The team has just completed the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger plane test from Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire.

“It’s hard to put into words what this means to our team, but also for everybody interested in zero-emission flight,” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia chief executive and test pilot.

“While some experimental aircraft have flown using hydrogen fuel cells as a power source, the size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly zero-emission flight very soon.”

TOMORROW: The infrastructure needed to power Scotland’s hydrogen revolution.