Chiltern Railways is helping to test an innovative powertrain demonstrator for self-powered rail vehicles, as part of a wider powertrain competition, funded by RSSB and Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd.
The Digital Displacement® Hybrid Rail Transmission project, using technology and expertise provided by Artemis and JCB, aims to reduce fuel consumption and improve engine performance by combining highly efficient hydrostatic transmission with on board energy storage in the form of hydraulic accumulators, which store energy during braking for reuse during acceleration. Stored energy can be reused to supplement engine power, reducing journey times through faster acceleration allowing trains to leave stations without producing emissions.
The technology could be applied to non-electrified rail routes where the case for future electrification is difficult to make. It also has the potential to provide benefits to the customer experience and to train planners in terms of reducing station dwell and journey times. The hybrid drive train can also be combined with an efficient downsized engine to reduce the emissions and fuel consumption of the fleet.
Artemis Intelligent Power is testing the new solution on one of Chiltern Railways' Mark 3 DVT vehicles. The test will take place for three months, starting in December 2017.