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Hitachi Rail and Angel Trains to create intercity battery hybrid train on TransPennine Express

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Hitachi Rail and Angel Trains to create intercity battery hybrid train on TransPennine Express

  • Hitachi Rail, Angel Trains and TransPeninne Express (TPE) agree to trial retrofitting battery on intercity train
  • Trial, starting next year, can cut fuel usage by at least 20% and reduce emissions on Transpennine network from 2022 onwards
  • Tri-mode service can cut noise pollution in urban areas and improve air quality

Hitachi Rail, Angel Trains and TPE have agreed in principle to retrofit intercity battery hybrid trains in order to carry out a trial of this clean technology on the Transpennine route in 2022.

Installing battery technology on a Hitachi intercity train will help cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions by at least 20%. A successful trial of the technology will unlock the potential for further emission and fuel savings to support industry decarbonisation targets.

Once complete, the trial provides a pathway for Hitachi Rail, the train builder and maintainer, and Angel Trains, the train’s owner to develop plans to retrofit batteries to the wider fleet.

The TPE ‘Nova 1’ fleet comprises 19 trains that connects major towns and cities across Northern England and Scotland. The trial will complement the major, multi-billion-pound Transpennine route upgrade currently helping to improve connectivity across the North.

The trial will see a diesel engine replaced by batteries to help power a five-carriage train, along with the two remaining engines. The power provided by the batteries will help to reduce the amount of fuel required to operate the train.

By using less fuel, the service will cut carbon emissions by at least 20%, with the potential for further savings. The technology benefits passengers by operating solely on battery power when travelling in and out of station areas, cutting noise pollution and helping to improve air quality.

While parts of the TPE route are electrified, trains are currently required to use their diesel engines for the majority of the time. Ahead of the completion of full electrification, adding a battery and creating an electric-diesel-battery hybrid, offers a fast and effective means of reducing carbon emissions.

Hitachi is committed to becoming a climate change innovator and is a Principal Sponsor of COP26 in Glasgow this month. The business is a global leader in rail battery technology and last month [October 2021], celebrated five years since the inaugural run of the DENCHA train, the world’s first battery-powered passenger train. Hitachi is also able to draw on the support of its battery partner – Hyperdrive Innovation. The company is creating and developing battery packs for mass production at Hyperdrive’s HYVE facility in Sunderland, the UK’s first independent battery pack manufacturing facility.

Peter Wilkinson, Managing Director for Passenger Services at the Department for Transport (DfT) said: “I’m thoroughly delighted to see these battery trains progressing. In a world increasingly vulnerable to climate change, and the environmental and atmospheric impacts of carbon and other forms of pollution, the rail industry must both show leadership and take the lead; waiting for permission simply won’t be an acceptable excuse. This project is an exemplar and we are going to need others like it if we are to succeed in creating a future mixed economy of modern, environmentally clean and safe future rolling stock traction solutions.”

Jim Brewin, UK & Ireland Country Lead, Hitachi Rail said: “This trial can deliver a significant green boost to passengers and operator alike, improving air quality, cutting carbon emissions by at least 20% and reducing fuel costs. Hitachi Rail is a world leader in battery technology and believes it will be key to the UK hitting its net zero targets.

“As a business with a footprint across the North of England and with our factory at Newton Aycliffe, we see enhancing the TPE network as meeting the Government’s levelling up agenda, delivering greener, more efficient services to the region.”

Malcolm Brown, CEO Angel Trains said:“Investing in battery technology for our fleet of Hitachi Class 802 trains is critical to delivering a greener service for passengers travelling with First TransPennine Express. We are committed to supporting the Government’s net zero targets and working collaboratively with our partners to achieve these goals.”

Steve Montgomery Managing Director of First Rail said: “We recognise and welcome opportunities to invest in sustainable rail initiatives and support innovations such as this which create solutions to help improve rail’s emissions and air quality, accelerating the transition to a zero carbon world. Working with our industry partners ensures that we achieve a better environment for our customers and will further encourage them to switch from cars to trains, which have a lower environmental impact per passenger mile.”

The TPE Nova 1 fleet entered service in November 2019. The 19 Class 802 trains in the fleet were built by Hitachi Rail and incorporate bullet train technology.

Communities across the North and Scotland are already seeing the benefit of greener electric and bi-mode trains. Alongside these developments, and the proposed battery hybrid trains, the Transpennine Route Upgrade will provide further opportunities to invest in greener technologies that could reduce carbon emissions and deliver a better environment for all.

This battery trial also represents a continuation of Hitachi Rail’s decarbonisation strategy to offer solutions for customers to help them reduce emissions around the world, through the provision of alternative fuel trains and encouraging modal shift away from cars and planes to trains.

ENDS

Supporting images and video can be viewed here

For more information, please contact:

Douglas McIlroy, Hitachi Rail

+44 7548 238 140

douglas.mcilroy@hitachirail.com

Note to Editors:

  • More information on Hitachi Rail’s decarbonisation strategy can be viewed here

About Hitachi Rail:

Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries across six continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state­-of-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit www.hitachirail.com

About Angel Trains:

Angel Trains is one of Britain’s leading rolling stock asset managers and has been an owner and lessor of rolling stock since 1994. The company leases to 15 franchised operators and two open access operators in the UK. Angel Trains is passionate about delivering high quality, modern assets to its customers and is committed to working with the Government, the Rail Delivery Group and other industry stakeholders to provide innovative and sustainable funding solutions to modernise and improve the UK's rolling stock fleet.

Angel Trains has invested £5 billion in new rolling stock and refurbishment programmes since 1994 and is one of the largest private investors in the industry.

Website: www.angeltrains.co.uk

For media enquiries, contact: mediaenquiries@angeltrains.co.uk

About FirstGroup:

FirstGroup plc is a leading private sector provider of public transport services. With £4.3 billion in revenue and around 30,000 employees, First Bus and First Rail transported nearly 700,000 passengers a day in the year to March 2021. First Bus is the second largest regional bus operator in the UK, serving two-thirds of the country’s 15 largest conurbations with a fleet of c.5,000 buses. First Rail is the UK’s largest rail operator, with many years of experience running long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper rail services. We operate a fleet of c.3,750 rail vehicles on four contracted operations (Avanti, GWR, SWR, TPE) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo, our new East Coast service). We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier. Our businesses are at the heart of our communities and the essential services we provide are critical to delivering wider economic, social and environmental goals. We are formally committed to operating a zero-emission First Bus fleet by 2035 and to cease purchasing further diesel buses after 2022; and First Rail will help support the UK Government’s goal to remove all diesel-only trains from service by 2040. Visit our website at www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.

About TransPennine Express:

TransPennine Express is an intercity rail provider with a vision to Take the North Further. We are delivering an investment of over £500m that will transform travel and customer experience across the North and into Scotland. This includes the introduction of 220 brand new state of the art Nova carriages, providing new routes, services and will increase capacity by over 80 per cent on a seven day a week timetable.

We are proud to be a FirstGroup plc company which provides easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities.

Our network is:

· North TransPennine - including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Redcar/Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport, Scarborough to Liverpool, Edinburgh to Liverpool and Hull to Manchester Piccadilly

· South TransPennine from Cleethorpes via Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester Airport

· North West and Scotland – from Liverpool and Manchester Airport to Preston, Oxenholme, Carlisle, Penrith, Edinburgh and Glasgow,

· Destinations served by TransPennine Express include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Malton, Scarborough, Hull, Selby, Leeds, Huddersfield, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Lancaster, Preston, Redcar, Morpeth, Manchester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool

www.tpexpress.co.uk

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About Hitachi Rail: Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries across six continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state­-of-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit www.hitachirail.com

Press contacts

Doug McIlroy

Doug McIlroy

Media contact – UK & Ireland +44 7548 238 140

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