Rail franchises operators & contracts

08.03.19

SWR and Porterbrook trial new emission-slashing rail technology

Groundbreaking emission-reducing technology is to be fitted to South Western Railway (SWR) train units as part of a new trial aiming to cut down harmful emissions from diesel trains by 80%.

Porterbrook is working in partnership with exhaust manufacturer Eminox to carry out the trial, with the DfT supporting the rolling stock company’s investment.

This will see South Western Railway’s Class 159 diesel units fitted with a first-of-its-kind emissions control device, with plans to roll out the technology to hundreds of diesel trains across the UK’s rail network.

The device will provide real-time diagnostics and performance data from the system and advanced catalyst technology will be used to overcome rail-specific challenges such as high exhaust temperatures, the partnership said.

The catalyst fitted to the rolling stock could reduce nitrous oxide emissions by over 80% and carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons emissions by over 90%, compared with current levels.

The device, called a Selective Catalytic Reduction & Continuously Regenerating Trap (SCRT), was developed by Eminox and is already in use on other types of heavy vehicles such as London buses.

Neil Drury, engineering director for South Western Railway, said: “SWR is very pleased to be involved in this project. Environmental sustainability is a key element of our Sustainable Development Strategy which is embedded across every part of the business.

“Energy and resources are a key theme in this strategy alongside use of innovative technology, all designed to ensure we are an employer of choice actively supporting the communities we serve.

“SWR has committed to a 56% reduction in traction carbon emissions by 2023/24 and it is hoped that this type of technology could help make a major contribution to achieving that target.”

The DfT is supporting the project through Innovate UK’s first-of-its-kind funding as the government tries to meet its drive for a cleaner, greener economy by cutting emissions and removing diesel trains from the rail network by 2040.

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “As a rolling stock asset management business, Porterbrook takes seriously its responsibility to develop innovative ways of reducing emissions. We are particularly pleased to be able to do this by drawing on proven technologies from other sectors.

“Porterbrook believes by partnering with automotive after-treatment specialists, Eminox, we can accelerate the delivery of cleaner and more environmentally friendly trains to Britain’s railways.”

 

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