Low carbon - 22 March 2024

D2N2 LEP CEO Will Morlidge presents at the ‘Hydrogen Rail in the Midlands’ conference at Alstom, Derby

PHOTO: D2N2 LEP CEO Will Morlidge presenting at the ‘Hydrogen Rail in the Midlands’ conference, held at Alstom, Derby

The UK is committed to decarbonise its rail sector by 2040 but it is currently running behind other transport sectors. Electrification is the primary solution to achieve this, but it is expensive with elongated timescales and isn’t financially feasible on various rail routes. Battery and hydrogen trains could therefore offer a critical interim or permanent alternative where electrification isn’t affordable, either in the near or long-term future.

The Midlands is key to delivering these zero-emission trains of the future. The region hosts the UK’s largest rail industry hub including key battery and hydrogen rolling stock developers such as Alstom, Porterbrook, Eversholt and Siemens. It is clear that the opportunity to rapidly accelerate the development of zero emission rail, including battery, hydrogen and hybrid options, is very important to the region.

This opportunity was discussed at the Hydrogen Rail in the Midlands conference, supported by HyDEX. At this event, which took place earlier today (22 March) in Derby at the site of multi-national rolling stock manufacturer, Alstom, delegates were given an insight into the opportunities that hydrogen can offer.

Our CEO, Will Morlidge, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the conference and updated delegates on East Midlands Hydrogen. Will co-chairs East Midlands Hydrogen, which is set to become the UKs largest inland hydrogen cluster, and will accelerate the development of, and attract investment to, the rapidly growing hydrogen ecosystem in our region.

Will said:

“I was delighted to present to delegates at the ‘Hydrogen Rail in the Midlands’ conference today. A key priority for our region is transitioning industry to sustainable green energy solutions. East Midlands Hydrogen, a partnership that I co-chair, now has over 60 members in all aspects of the hydrogen value chain, and is already demonstrating the huge value of collaboration in our drive to de-carbonise industry.”  

The other keynote speaker at the conference was Professor Martin Freer, Director of HyDEX and the Energy Research Accelerator, who presented on the  findings of the HyDEX report: ‘The Midlands Hydrogen Rail Study – Landscaping of Hydrogen Rail Opportunities across the Midlands.’

Will’s presentation can be accessed here

D2N2 LEP is the lead partner, alongside Cadent, for East Midlands Hydrogen.

If you are interested in joining the consortium, please contact info@d2n2lep.org

Visit the East Midlands Hydrogen website

Connect with the East Midlands Hydrogen Linked In page


D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire region, convening the businesses, universities, colleges and local authorities in our region to drive low carbon, economic growth and productivity, skills & careers, inclusion and delivery excellence. The D2N2 LEP team and functions will transition into the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) during 2024.


For media enquiries, contact: 

Nicola Swaney 

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP 



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