Rolls-Royce Writes Rail History, Powers UK’s Pioneering Hybrid-Electric Passenger Train

What claims to be UK’s first hybrid diesel-battery-electric passenger train has entered service with Chiltern Railways. This is a historic first for both the country’s railway system and for the brand’s acclaimed mtu power systems.
Rolls-Royce has converted an existing train to hybrid-electric operations 6 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
HybdridFLEX TrainHybdridFLEX Trainmtu Rail Solutionsmtu Rail Solutionsmtu Rail Solutions
The brand is serious about taking its renowned mtu engines to the next level by implementing a wide variety of eco-friendly strategies. One of them was the development of its Hybrid PowerPack, a rail drive system that can be integrated into new rail vehicles or for converting older ones.

The pioneering HybridFLEX train is a converted Class 168 DMU, equipped with two mtu Hybrid PowerPacks, which will be operating between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. It was launched through a partnership between Rolls-Royce, Chiltern Railways, and leasing company Porterbrook.

The HybridFLEX claims that it can reduce CO2 emissions by 25%, with the significant advantage of not requiring new, costly infrastructure. The batteries are easily mounted under the vehicle’s floor, and the drive system is able to automatically switch to all-electric operation when needed (when entering areas with special regulations for emissions and noise, such as train stops and cities). That’s possible due to a new driver assistance system, the mtu Intelligent Drive Manager.

When operating in electric mode, the train’s noise level is reduced by 75%. Plus, the braking energy can be recovered and stored in the mtu EnergyPacks, allowing the train to operate electrically even on non-electrified routes, such as stations or cities.

This innovative rail drive system boasts a modular design for more flexibility – it can be used by operators who want to introduce new hybrid vehicles, as well as by the ones who prefer to convert existing vehicles.

The fact that this eco-friendly propulsion solution has now gone from the development phase to regular operation is a milestone for the brand and for the rail industry.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
press release
About the author: Otilia Drăgan
Otilia Drăgan profile photo

Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories