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A pilot scheme has seen a ‘greener’ train running on the Derwent Valley line between Derby and Matlock, which has trialled a technology that could be used across the rail network and has reported a huge 80% reduction in emissions.
The scheme has been created in partnership with rolling stock company Porterbrook, emissions specialists Eminox and East Midlands Railway.
The project sees a 2-box emissions reduction system fitted to the exhaust of a Class 170 which has been operating a full passenger service on the beautiful Derwent Valley line.
The device uses an oxidation catalyst and a filter to partially remove pollution from nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
The £600k trial which has been funded by East Midlands Railway, Porterbrook and the Department for Transport through a funding programme which is delivered by Innovate UK also features a state-of-the-art low volume hydrostatic oil reservoir which has been created by Bosch Rexroth.
The reservoir uses a double pump arrangement and hydrostatic oil to move the engine cooling fans and the alternator, which provides electrical power for the train.
The innovative technology is able to give similar outputs to the original system but only uses 16 litres of hydrostatic oil in comparison to the massive 200 litres which is currently used in the regular system. This is a significant drop in the amount of oil required and also impacts positively by saving space and the extra weight needed for carrying the 200 litres.
Performance data that is being collected will be assessed to see if a network rollout would be beneficial and early signs are showing that it is looking viable with the huge reduction in emissions experienced during the trial so far.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It was fantastic to see one of our previous ‘First of a Kind’ competition winners in action at Derby station. Harnessing innovations like this will help to make our railways greener and cleaner as we build back better from Covid-19.
“This competition always throws up exciting innovations and the technology I have seen today, along with the winners of this year’s competition, could transform how we travel in future.”
Neil Bamford, Fleet Director at East Midlands Railway, said the company was delighted to be able to support the trial.
He said: “We are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental impact and deliver greener, cleaner journeys for our passengers. That is why we are excited to support this project and help explore if this innovative technology can have an impact on cutting down pollution.”
Mary Grant, Porterbrook CEO said: “As a rolling stock asset owner and manager, Porterbrook is committed to developing innovative technologies that can help reduce emissions from our diesel fleets. We are particularly pleased to be able to do this by drawing on proven technologies from other sectors.
“Porterbrook believes by partnering with East Midlands Railway and automotive after-treatment specialist, Eminox, we can accelerate the delivery of cleaner and more environmentally friendly trains on Britain’s railway.”
Jonathan Evans, Senior Programme Manager, Eminox, said: “Securing this funding reflects the innovative, first-of-a-kind nature of our project with East Midlands Railway and Porterbrook – and demonstrates our commitment to reducing harmful emissions across multiple sectors to help deliver a greener future.”
“The project will demonstrate the Eminox exhaust after-treatment technology, benefiting air quality and the environment. Given the large number of diesel trains currently operating in the UK, there are enormous possibilities to develop and deploy our technology on a wider scale, benefiting many communities across the country.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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