Hybrid powered trains and what they mean for the industry?

The following week Chiltern Railways in partnership with Porterbrook and Rolls-Royce tested the first hybrid diesel-battery powered train in Derbyshire. This is a huge positive first step towards the UK’s plan to be net-zero by 2050. Chiltern Railways boasts that the new HybridFLEX train will reduce fuel consumption by 20% and therefore 70% in NOx emissions on the Chiltern services between London and Birmingham.

They created this through fitting a class 168 Chiltern train with a Rolls Royce MTU hybrid drive which will improve air quality by 70% and reduce noise by 75%. The new model is said to travel 100mph which will reduce journey times compared with the trains they are using at the moment. The train is meant to run later this year on the 40-mile route between London Marylebone and Aylesbury.

Porterbrook’s Chief Portfolio Officer, Stephen McGurk said “We are very excited about this technology which has the potential to transform air quality and sound levels at major stations and in urban areas. I would like to thank our Chiltern Railways customer for working with us on the introduction of HybridFLEX to Britain’s railway”. With this positive outlook it is exciting to see the HybridFLEX’s capabilities of creating a more sustainable rail industry. Managing director Richard Allan said that he was happy with the ‘cleaner, quitter and quicker’ service that they can provide and ‘are really prod that this concept train is now carrying customers and look forward to assessing its performance in daily service.’