Eminox, train-leasing company Porterbrook and Southwest Railway announced a partnership that aims to reduce emissions from the United Kingdom’s diesel trains.
The companies said they are working together on a trial that could see Eminox’s automotive after-treatment technology fitted to hundreds of Britain’s existing diesel trains.
This new partnership between Eminox and Porterbrook is being supported by the U.K.’s Department for Transport, delivered through InnovateUK’s First of a Kind (FoaK 2) funding. The FoaK 2 funding will allow trial fitting of Eminox SCRT technology to a South Western Railway Class 159 diesel train. This trial will be the world’s first fitting of the SCRT technology to rail.
The SCRT system combines the continuously regenerating trap (CRT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to produce a system which reduces particulate Matter (PM) by both mass and number.
The trial is expected to see a significant reduction in diesel emissions. Eminox’s catalyst can reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by over 80%, PM by over 90%, and both carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons by over 90%, the company said. If the trial proves successful, the innovation is likely to be deployed on a number of existing fleets across Britain’s railways, the companies said.
Telemtry will be fitted to the trial Class 159 train to provide real-time diagnostics and performance data from the system. Rail-specific challenges, such as high-exhaust-temperature duty cycles, will be overcome as part of the project, utilising advanced catalyst technology in the first on-rail application.
“We have taken our 20 years’ experience of on-road retrofit technology into the rail market so operators can utilize the best available technology to lower emissions and improve air quality in the growing number of clean air zones and ultra-low emission zones,” said Carlos Vicente, Retrofit Sales Director for Eminox. “Eminox retrofit technology will help reduce diesel particulate matter from the rail network and deliver environmental benefits to the communities the railway serves. This is part of the government’s drive for a cleaner, greener economy by cutting emissions and removing diesel-only trains from the network by 2040.”
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said that as a rolling-stock asset management business, Porterbrook is keen to develop innovative ways of reducing emissions.
“We are particularly pleased to be able to do this by drawing on proven technologies from other sectors,” Grant said. “Porterbrook believes by partnering with automotive after-treatment specialists at Eminox, we can accelerate the delivery of cleaner and more environmentally friendly trains to Britain’s railways.”
Neil Drury, Engineering Director for South Western Railway, said SWR is very pleased to be involved in this project.
“Environmental sustainability is a key element of our Sustainable Development Strategy, which is embedded across every part of the business,” Drury said. “Energy and resources are a key theme in this strategy, alongside use of innovative technology, all designed to ensure we are an employer of choice actively supporting the communities we serve.
“SWR has committed to a 56% reduction in traction carbon emissions by 2023/24, and it is hoped that this type of technology could help make a major contribution to achieving that target.”
Manufactured in the company’s UK factory, Eminox’s exhaust and emissions control systems are used extensively across the world, on buses, coaches, trucks and other heavy-duty diesel machinery. Eminox said its technology has contributed to a 25,000-tonne reduction in NOx emissions from buses and trucks over the last 10 years alone, improving air quality, safeguarding public health, and saving lives.