Demonstrations of greener and more fuel efficient ways of powering trains to be enabled by RSSB programme
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Artemis Intelligent Power and Dynamic Boost Systems have been awarded funding by RSSB to demonstrate alternative ways of powering trains that could deliver improvements of up to 30% in fuel efficiency.

Potential fuel savings of around 30%, and similar reductions in carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, have been suggested by eight RSSB-funded feasibility studies which aim to find more efficient ways of powering trains.

RSSB launched the Powertrain programme to develop alternative technologies for rail vehicles to power themselves. Successful methods could also suggest new approaches to the electrification of the network.

There were a total of 28 entries, with eight projects successfully delivering feasibility studies. These included cutting edge power generation, energy storage, and various transmission technologies. Class 156 vehicles were used as the reference for the proposals.

RSSB’s lead project manager, Mark Benton, said: These feasibility studies show that there is potential for the industry to reduce both emissions and fuel costs. Each of them has the potential to challenge the electrification programme business case and offer an alternative self-powered option. They work towards the RSSB’s vision, described in the Rail Technical Strategy, of a greener, cheaper railway of the future.

Two of the feasibility studies will go forward as demonstrators. They will look at low cost flywheels and digital displacement hydraulic machines. A third group is searching for a suitable test vehicle.

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