Friday, 11 February 2022

Chiltern Railways Launch HybridFLEX 100mph Battery-diesel Hybrid Train Into Regular Service

Britain's first 100mph battery-diesel hybrid train goes into regular passenger service.

Following testing on the Chiltern lines north of Marylebone, Chiltern Railways has launched HybridFLEX – Britain’s first 100mph capable battery-diesel hybrid train into regular passenger service this week.

A 20-year-old diesel train has been fitted with a powerful battery meaning it uses 25 per cent less fuel, significantly cuts emissions and air pollution, and allows the train to run solely on battery power when departing and arriving at stations

The two-carriage train will run primarily between Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and London Marylebone on a near 40-mile journey.

HybridFLEX is the product of a four-year partnership between Chiltern Railways, Porterbrook and Rolls- Royce
The 20-year old, two-carriage train, also provides a 75 per cent decrease in noise and a 70 per cent decrease in nitrogen oxide.

The Government has pledged to remove all diesel-only trains from UK railways by 2040.
There are plans to use the train between the capital and Oxford in the coming months. The operator previously had a fully diesel fleet.

Chiltern Railways managing director Richard Allan said: “Chiltern Railways is determined to operate a railway that is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

“We have worked hard with our partners to fit a powerful battery power pack underneath a 20-year-old diesel train to make the train cleaner, quieter and quicker.

“We are really proud that this concept train is now carrying customers and look forward to assessing its performance in daily service.”

Porterbrook chief executive Mary Grant said the entry into service of HybridFLEX is “a significant first step” in demonstrating how the trains can slash emissions and boost air quality across the rail network.

Warren East, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, which produced the battery, described the project as “groundbreaking”.

He said: “In this critical decade of climate action, today’s entry into service of the HybridFLEX train demonstrates what we can achieve through technological innovation and agile collaboration.

“This smart piece of engineering enables the acceleration of the UK Government ambition to remove all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040, making rail journeys quieter, cleaner and faster.”