The 125mph Pendolino trains are saving energy and reducing pollution as they return energy to the electrical feeder stations every time they brake. The 53 tilting trains, built and maintained by ALSTOM, are fitted with electronic control systems that cause the traction motors to provide braking effort by generating electricity back into the supply system. The generated electricity which is put back into the supply system achieves an overall energy saving of 17 percent.
The Pendolino trains are used over all of the West Coast routes from London Euston to the West Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Cumbria and Scotland.
Research by Virgin Trains and ALSTOM shows that, based on data from Pendolino trains operating over the Manchester to London route, the Pendolino fleet, which covers around 13 million miles a year, is generating around 55 million kWh of power a year, which is returned to the National Grid. This is enough to provide the electricity to power 13,750 homes for a year.
On a typical London to Manchester journey, a Pendolino will return around 750kWh of electricity to the power supply system for re-use, and Virgin’s drivers are trained in economic and energy saving driving techniques.
Regenerative braking used on the Pendolino trains also reduces the use of the friction brakes, dramatically reducing brake-pad dust and pollution, to provide a double environmental benefit.
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