G-volution Ltd have been involved in dual-fuel technology for the truck sector in the UK for the past 8 years. Now it is applying that expertise to the rail sector. Together with open-access passenger operator Grand Central, G-volution will showcase a Dual Fuel Multiple Unit (DFMU) for the first time on the GB rail network towards the end of 2019.
The project is supported by Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), a British independent not-for-profit company, which is providing funding from the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to the DFMU project.
The project involves modifying one vehicle on a Grand Central Class 180 Diesel Multiple Unit to be powered by dual fuel. Using G-volution’s dual fuel optimiser technology – which has 50 million kilometres of road use – the modified vehicle will run on a combination of diesel and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This can help reduce fuel costs, particulate matter and CO2 emissions.
A more than 25% of all UK passenger trains and 90% of UK freight trains are diesel-powered, this project could help support the Government’s long-term decarbonisation ambitions, including the aim to remove all diesel-only powered trains from the network by 2040.
One of the aims of the trial is to demonstrate the path to market and effectiveness of a dual fuel solution, helping to facilitate an industry uptake of the technology. It is
expected that the actual vehicle modifications will be straightforward, to be confirmed as one of the anticipated outcomes of the trial.
This trial builds on the work of a 2016 RSSB-funded feasibility study that investigated the potential benefits of dual fuel in rail and concluded that fuel cost savings of approximately 30% were achievable. This study is being expanded through further modelling and analysis to include all types of diesel train and rail routes in the UK, with the development and operational demonstration of the DFMU being used to validate the model outputs.
Richard McClean, Managing Director at Grand Central, said: “At Grand Central we are committed to innovation and excellence on the railways and we are committed to delivering improvements for the benefit of our customers and the communities in which we serve.
“This trial, which involves one of our Class 180 Adelante trains, has the potential to demonstrate the very real and important environmental and cost benefits of dual-fuel technology to the wider rail industry. We are looking forward to seeing the results of the study and discovering how dual fuel technology can be developed in the
Grand Central Railway Company Limited, part of the Arriva group, is an established train operator which provides direct rail connections from towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East England with London. The Class 180 is a British diesel-hydraulic multiple-unit high-speed train built by Alstom. Grand Central’s Class 180s are leased from Angel Trains.
G-volution: (pdf file) Transport Select Committee publishes submission from G-volution
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