Porterbrook offers hybrid power for Turbostar DMUs

Train leasing company Porterbrook and engine maker Rolls-Royce launched a new hybrid diesel/battery power pack for Class 168 and Class 170 diesel multiple units at InnoTrans on September 19.

A letter of intent was signed at the exhibition which covers the delivery of hybrid systems for installation on two test trains. After the testing programme is completed, Porterbrook plans to offer Class 168 and Class 170 operators conversions to their existing fleets.

At the core of the MTU Hybrid PowerPacks is a Euro V-compliant 6H 1800 diesel engine coupled to an electric machine which can be used as an electric motor or generator, and an MTU EnergyPack battery system which stores energy recovered during braking. The stored energy can either be used to boost performance during acceleration for journey time reductions or to provide emissions-free electric operation in urban areas and around stations.

Porterbrook and Rolls-Royce claim that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 70%, and diesel particulate emissions by up to 90%. Noise levels in stations - if operators opt to use battery power in those circumstances - are expected to fall by around 20dB(A), around 75% lower than under diesel operation. Furthermore, the parties claim that operating costs will be lower because of lower fuel consumption and wear on braking systems.

The Class 168/170 fleets are the most numerous post-privatisation diesel multiple units, with around 196 sets in service with Chiltern Railways (the first customer), CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, ScotRail, London Overground, Northern, Southern and West Midlands Trains.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 862, published on September 26, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from September 22. 


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  • AndrewJG8918 - 21/09/2018 19:45

    But London Overground are replacing the Class 172 to WM Trains. Even Greater Anglia are also replacing their Class 170’s with the Class 755 Stadler Flirt Bi-Mode which the Ex-GA Class 170 will be cascaded to Wales. And WM Trains are also replacing the Class 170 when the Class 196 has been built and is to start service from 2020. Could East-West Rail line use the Class 170 cascaded from WM Trains to operate between Oxford/Aylesbury-Bedford/Milton Keynes Central & Oxford-Bedford-Cambridge when the new line between Bedford and Cambridge is being built which should open in the mid 2020s.

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  • FrankH - 21/09/2018 21:51

    If these were electric units I could see the point, but these can go anywhere now. Why not just use the euro 5 engine.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 23/09/2018 17:37

    I think it’s a good idea. Plus Class 170 Turbostar could be operated on the East-West Rail line as it’s not to be electrified and Class 170s are efficient and reliable.

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