Back to news Rolls-Royce and Porterbrook launch first hybrid rail project in the UK with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks

Rolls-Royce and Porterbrook launch first hybrid rail project in the UK with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks

• First UK agreement to deliver MTU hybrid drive system

• Hybrid system enables quieter, more fuel efficient and zero-emission train operations

• After a pilot programme in 2020, Porterbrook plans to offer customers HybridFLEX trains

Rolls-Royce and Porterbrook, the UK’s largest owner of passenger rolling stock, have agreed the delivery of MTU Hybrid PowerPacks that can convert Class 168 and Class 170 ‘Turbostar’ DMUs from diesel-only to hybrid-electric operation. Hybrid technology allows for the cleaner and quieter operation of trains in stations and through urban areas.

The Letter of Intent, which was signed at rail industry trade show Innotrans, covers the delivery of hybrid systems for installation on two test trains. Following trials, Porterbrook aims to offer hybrid conversion to a range of customers operating existing Turbostar fleets.

This is the first agreement for the delivery of MTU hybrid drive systems in the UK.

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “Porterbrook is committed to reducing the emissions and carbon footprint of our existing diesel powered fleets. We hope our investment in this trial of MTU Hybrid PowerPacks will enable us to offer wider fleet fitment of this technology, so that our customers can reduce both emissions and operating costs, as well as improve air-quality along urban corridors. Hybrid trains have the added benefit of operating with very little sound when using battery power, offering additional benefits to the railway’s near neighbours.

“This is one of several initiatives that Porterbrook is undertaking to address the challenge, set by Rail Minister Jo Johnson MP, of removing diesel-only trains from the UK rail network by 2040.”

Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce said: “We are pleased to be helping to write a new chapter of environmentally friendly, quieter and more efficient rail travel in the UK. With the innovative MTU Hybrid PowerPacks, Rolls-Royce and our partner Porterbrook will be setting new standards on the UK network; helping to reduce emissions, increase fuel efficiency and improve the lives of people who live near train stations.”

Rolls-Royce will initially deliver two MTU Hybrid PowerPacks based on type 6H 1800 engines to Porterbrook. These will be fitted into a Turbostar DMU in the beginning of 2020 which will then be trialled for a period of six months during regular operations. The agreement includes an option for the retrofitting of a second DMU with two MTU Hybrid PowerPacks. Based on the performance of the Hybrid fitted units, Porterbrook hopes to offer customers the opportunity to convert their existing Turbostar fleets into HybridFLEX trains through the installation of MTU Hybrid PowerPacks.

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is an environmentally friendly drive system which combines the advantages of diesel and battery-powered rail traction. The version for Porterbrook incorporates an MTU diesel engine which fulfils future EU Stage V emissions regulations; plus an electric machine, which can be used either as an electric motor or generator; and an MTU EnergyPack battery system, which stores the energy recovered during braking. This enables very low-noise, emissions-free battery-only electric operation in urban areas and around stations.

Noise emissions in stations are cut by around 75 percent (20 dB(A)). Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 25 percent. NOx emissions can also be reduced by up to 70 percent and particulate emissions by around 90 percent. The total operating costs of rail vehicles with MTU hybrid drives are also significantly lower, and even brake pads and discs experience reduced wear due to energy recuperation during braking. As a result of the additional power of the electric machine, train operators also have the option to improve journey times through better acceleration.

Drive systems from Rolls-Royce already play an important role in the British railway system. More than 1,100 MTU PowerPacks and engines already power railcars and locomotives across the UK and Ireland, including over 550 PowerPacks in Turbostar DMUs which are in service with seven operators.

Press photos are available for download from www.rrpowersystems.com/press

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to our planet’s vital power needs.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 10,000 people. The product portfolio includes MTU-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry. Under the MTU Onsite Energy brand, the company markets diesel gensets for emergency, base load and peak load applications as well as cogeneration plants using gas engines for the combined generation of heat and power. Bergen medium-speed engines power ships and power generation applications.
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £15 billion in 2017, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £78.5 billion at the end of December 2017.
  5. In 2017, Rolls-Royce invested £1.4 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  6. Rolls-Royce employs almost 55,000 people in 50 countries. Approximately 19,400 of these are engineers. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2017 we recruited 313 graduates and 339 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes. For further information, please contact:

Rolf Behrens Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG Phone: +49 7541 90-7740 E-mail: rolf.behrens@rrpowersystems.com

About Porterbrook

  1. Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited ("Porterbrook") is a leading participant in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of around 6,000 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes over 4,000 passenger vehicles.
  2. Since privatisation, Porterbrook has invested over £3bn in the UK rail market. The company is looking to invest a further £1bn in Britain’s railway over the next five years.
  3. Porterbrook has successfully introduced over 2,500 new vehicles into passenger service. The company continues to invest across its existing fleets to ensure they remain attractive to operators and passengers. Porterbrook also provides ongoing train maintenance services.
  4. In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of UTA/RBS/TIF.

Porterbrook Media Contacts:

Porterbrook Rupert Brennan Brown, Head of Communications and Engagement Rupert@porterbrook.co.uk or +44 (0)7973 950 923

Financial or corporate PR enquiries can also be directed to:

Maitland
James Isola James McFarlane +44 (0)20 7379 5151