Image Credits: East Midlands Railway

  • 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

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.

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.”