Production starts for Hybrid MTU PowerPacks for Irish Rail

Hybrid PowerPacksRolls-Royce has started the serial production of Hybrid PowerPacks for Irish Rail which will be used to power Class 22000 trains, scheduled to enter services from late 2022. The national operator has ordered 41 Hybrid-ready MTU PowerPacks with deliveries expected to begin in 2021.

Fitted with MTU 6H 1800 R86 engines, the PowerPacks comply with the EU Stage V emissions directives and each deliver 375 kW from the diesel engine as well as 150 kW from the electrical machine.

At a later stage, Rolls-Royce could equip the PowerPacks with batteries, turning them into fully-fledged MTU Hybrid PowerPacks enabling trains to run with zero emissions.

“The series production MTU traction systems we are now supplying set new standards for cleanliness, reliability and fuel economy,” said Jürgen Blassmann, Head of Rail Business at Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems.

The conversion to MTU Hybrid PowerPacks will allow Irish Rail 30% fuel savings and a 30% CO2 emissions reduction.

The two companies have a continuous collaboration which also includes the fleet refurbishment with new transmissions and testing both conventional EU Stage V and hybrid traction systems from 2021. Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail also plans to introduce into service further hybrid PowerPacks in the years to come.

234 MTU PowerPacks have been powering the Class 22000 trains for many years. In 2018, Rolls-Royce and Irish Rail agreed to refurbish MTU PowerPacks with new transmissions to achieve fuel savings of almost 20%. In 2018, the Irish company has also announced its intention to trial MTU PowerPacks for the EU Stage V emissions standard which are to be converted to hybrid version next year. Trials of the EU Stage V PowerPacks are scheduled for this August, following which all nine PowerPacks will be converted to hybrid PowerPacks and commence operation at the end of 2021.

“Reducing the exhaust emissions of our trains is a key part of our commitment to sustainability and to the strategic ‘Ireland 2040’ project, and with Rolls-Royce we have the right traction partner on board to help us do that,” Peter Smyth, Chief Mechanical Engineer at Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, said.

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