Rail Minister praises emission reduction technology trialled by EMR

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has praised the trial of a new piece of emission reduction technology fitted to a train running between Matlock and Derby.  

  • Tests show a reduction of 80% in emissions
  • ‘Greener’ train running between Derby and Matlock
  • £600k pilot to understand if tech could be used wider in industry

In partnership with rolling stock company Porterbrook, and emissions specialist, Eminox, EMR has fit a 2-box emissions reduction system to the exhaust of a Class 170 train operating in full passenger usage between Derby and Matlock.

The £600,000 trial, which is funded by EMR, Porterbrook and the Department for Transport, through its funding programme delivered by Innovate UK, uses an oxidation catalyst and a filter to partly remove pollution from nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

The trial also includes using an innovative low volume hydrostatic oil reservoir developed by Bosch Rexroth that utilises a double pump arrangement and hydrostatic oil to drive the engine cooling fans and the alternator, which in turn provides electrical power to the train.

The technology is capable of delivering similar outputs to the original system, but requires only 16 litres of hydrostatic oil compared to the 200 litres that is currently needed, delivering a significant reduction in space, weight and volume of oil required.

Performance data will be collected from the trial to understand if the technology will be a viable option for wider use in the industry – early indications show that emissions are reduced by up to 80 per cent.

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 specialists, 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.”

Contact Information

East Midlands Railway by Abellio

East Midlands Railway

  • East Midlands Railway provides intercity and regional train services across England
  • EMR Intercity operates to and from London St Pancras International, providing reliable and frequent services to Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Derby and Sheffield and other towns and communities across the East Midlands.
  • EMR Regional provides local train services to towns and communities across England, including; Liverpool, Manchester, Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent, Peterborough, Ely, Grantham and Norwich
  • Over the next eight years, East Midlands Railway will deliver over £600 million of improvements for passengers across the network, including brand new bi-mode intercity trains between the East Midlands, the North and London as well as the introduction of faster, modern, refurbished trains across the rest of the network.
  • This investment will also see transformed stations, improved ticketing, better accessibility, new and improved timetables and more support for local communities

Abellio UK

Abellio UK is one of Britain’s largest transport operators, providing services for more than a million rail and bus passengers daily in England and Scotland.

It operates five franchises – ScotRail, MerseyRail (jointly with Serco), East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains (including London Northwestern Railway) and Greater Anglia.  One in five of UK rail passengers travel on an Abellio service.

Abellio also operates on 52 bus routes in London, eight per cent of the market in the capital, and will soon add to its 700-strong fleet with new electric buses.

A subsidiary of the Dutch state railway, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Abellio UK employs 16,000 colleagues and it is committed to providing simple, reliable and sustainable journeys.

Having entered the UK rail market in 2003, Abellio is investing £3bn in new fleets right across the UK.

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