A New Dawn for steam on the railway

Steamology, a green technology start-up company in West Dean, Hampshire, has secured its first commercial contract with Arup and Eversholt Rail to support the evaluation of green steam to eliminate all freight train emissions.

Electrification, and use of electric heavy-haul freight locomotives, is the most energy-efficient way to move goods on land.  However, large parts of the national rail network remain unelectrified, and this project will provide a complementary means of zero-emissions goods transportation by rail.

Steamology has developed a patented new technology to generate high pressure steam without carbon emissions by burning hydrogen in oxygen inside small modular steam generators.  This zero-carbon “green” steam can be created at a mega-watt scale.  The New Dawn project will apply this innovation to rail by converting a Class 60 locomotive to a full powered prototype, heralding a return to steam after a break of more than 60 years.

This conversion will replace the diesel engine with 20 steam generators, four steam turbines and 140kg of gas storage, creating a 2MW zero emission steam locomotive. Conversion work is planned to commence in the UK in 2025. If successful, this technology could be applied as a modification to existing locomotives or incorporated into newly-built products by locomotive manufacturers.


Arup is providing consultancy and design services to support the conversion work.


Andrew Went, Arup UKIMEA Rail Business and Global High Speed Rail Leader said “Arup has a commitment to advocate for, and work towards a sustainable and fair world, and decarbonised rail transport forms a key part of the infrastructure that we all need. We are delighted and excited to work with Eversholt Rail, Steamology and Freightliner, and to be involved in the application of this cutting edge technology in a manner that will demonstrate a better way forward for heavy-haul freight, which – up to now – has been considered as the most challenging of rail modes to decarbonise.”

Project partner Freightliner is also providing operational input and experience.

Tim Shoveller, CEO, Freightliner Group said “We are committed to supporting innovative R&D solutions which help to push the boundaries of rail as a core component of a sustainable infrastructure. Rail freight is already a greener option over road cutting carbon emissions by up to 76%. It is great to see the evolution of the efficient turbine technology and its application in supporting the development of more sustainable energy sources for the future railway.”

Paul Sutherland, Client Services Director at Eversholt Rail said “We are keen to support UK innovation and our customers in delivering their carbon reduction targets. Eversholt Rail has invested in many rail vehicle innovations and technology upgrades over the last 30 years.  We are delighted to bring this experience and our funding to this project, and we are excited to see where this technology goes.”

Matt Candy CEO Steamology said.” Steamology zero emission steam, heat and power solutions are operational at full size and full scale and Project New Dawn will demonstrate the viability of repowering diesel engine heavy duty transport assets. Delivering full asset life while meeting net zero and ESG targets”


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