MoU signed to develop sustainable rail solutions for the UK

rail decarbonisation Rolls-Royce and Porterbrook signed a Memorandum of Understanding to identify and develop technological innovations for rail decarbonisation which will significantly reduce the carbon emissions and improve air quality across the rail network.

The two companies will investigate the potential for the use of synthetic and net zero fuels, including hydrogen, both in fuel cells and internal combustion engines. Building on their recent success of jointly introducing hybrid battery-diesel railcars into passenger service, the two companies will also explore the potential for advanced hybridisation.

“Our partnership with Rolls-Royce will mean that we continue to lead the UK’s rail sector in sustainable solutions, by leveraging expertise across industries on the pathway to net zero,” Mary Grant, CEO, Porterbrook, said.

The partnership also includes considering the role of the wider rail ecosystem in decarbonisation, including fuel chain supply, infrastructure and operational models that can aid innovation and the transition to net zero.

The UK’s railway accounts for approximately 1% of all domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the Government’s ambition is to remove all passenger and freight diesel-only trains from the network by 2040 and achieve a net zero rail network by 2050. The UK Government has identified a number of different routes to this target including alternative forms of power such as hydrogen, fuel cells, batteries, hybrid-electric and sustainable fuels.

“We are committed to helping our customers make the transition to net zero by enabling them to use our current and future products in a way that is compatible with emissions reduction, and this relationship with Porterbrook will help us further understand the options for decarbonising rail transport,” Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said.

Rolls-Royce is engaged to develop products and solutions for rail decarbonisation which includes the hybrid-electric mtu Hybrid PowerPack. This technology recently entered commercial service in the UK with Chiltern Railways on HybridFlex trains, supplied by Porterbrook, which reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25%.


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