Unipart Rail has been announced as a winner in a national competition funded by The Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, which is awarding funding to innovative projects that will make railways cleaner, greener and more passenger-friendly.

The competition has awarded 25 pioneering projects a share of £9.4 million in the 2020 First of a Kind (FOAK) competition, which encourages innovation in the rail industry.

We have been selected as a winner in the Environmental sustainability category for development of the industry changing ‘TRT-e’ – a zero emissions Trac Rail Transposer that is being developed in conjunction with McCulloch Rail, Hyperbat, Williams Advanced Engineering and Advanced Electric Machines.

Using the base McCulloch Rail TRT machines, the safest, most versatile, rail handling machine on the rail infrastructure, Unipart Rail and our partners will work together to remove the current diesel power unit and develop an electric motor, battery power pack and electronic control system with remote condition monitoring to produce a zero-emissions machine.

This will enable it to be worked more extensively on the rail infrastructure where diesel emissions and noise pollution are a particular problem, for example, in underground systems, tunnels and enclosed stations.

The output of this project will be a full working prototype, performance-tested, certified and ready to be worked on the UK rail network by McCulloch Rail and demonstrated to potential customers worldwide.

This First of a Kind competition has provided Unipart Rail with the opportunity to work with world-leading experts in the field of electric-powered vehicles to develop a zero-emissions demonstrator of the already successful and proven TRT which will enhance the working environment and experience of contractors working with the machines.

Noel Travers, Managing Director Unipart Rail and Unipart Manufacturing Group said “Our partnership with McCulloch Rail is one I am very proud of – their technology is transforming rail handling methods, and this is an example of how joint innovative thinking drives massive value for the rail industry. I am very excited to see this development happen and look forward to the product launch in 2021, when I expect it to have a strong uptake with our customers.”

Billy McCulloch, Engineering Director McCulloch Rail said “The TRT is already a great product – the development of the fully electric version will be a big step forward in the world of lifting and handling, and we are excited to develop this first-of-its-kind technology for the rail industry.”

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