Hundreds of hybrid-electric trains could roll out on Britain’s railways from the 2020s.
Famed British manufacturer Rolls-Royce has signed a deal to test electric-hybrid trains on UK railways. The deal with UK firm Porterbrook could see hundreds of diesel trains converted to be less polluting.
“We expect hybrid technology to grow at above the current growth rates of diesel,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems. Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems unit, which sells engines used on ships, yachts, trains, trucks, mining and nuclear power stations, is one of the fastest growing parts of the company, and its boss said hybrid technology is behind that.
Diesel trains can be fitted with Rolls-Royce Hybrid PowerPacks to turn them into hybrid trains that can also run on battery power, reducing carbon emissions and making them cheaper to run for operators while also making them much quieter when, for example, they approach stations.