Chiltern Railways, the train company that operates train services between Birmingham, Oxford, and London, has celebrated 25 years in the industry by launching a new train that will reduce both emissions and noise.
The HybridFLEX train – Britain’s first hybrid battery-diesel train – is said to have emission-free battery operation and reduce CO₂ by up to 25 per cent and nitrous oxide by more than 70 per cent. Particulates, Chiltern says, can be reduced by more than 90 per cent.
Having been testing in Derbyshire since May this year, the new train was shown off to the public at Marylebone station on 21 July 2021.
A collaborative effort between Porterbrook and Rolls-Royce, Chiltern Railways is trialling the technology to demonstrate improvements to the environment. HybridFLEX should be in full passenger service from September.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “HybridFLEX trains will make rail travel even greener and the air in our stations cleaner.
“Chiltern Railways have connected people for a quarter of a century and now are helping to prepare for the future as we build back greener. This is a great example of how innovation and enterprise can help us reach our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Richard Allan, Chiltern Railways’ managing director, added: “Chiltern has a fantastic track record of innovating and investing in new routes, stations, depots and trains to attract and retain customers.
“We are proud and privileged to mark our 25th anniversary by introducing colleagues and stakeholders to the HybridFLEX train.
“We need to modernise Chiltern again and this exciting use of new technology in an older train is a potentially very significant opportunity to help us decarbonise and improve our customer experience.”