by Tiana May
01 Aug 2023
Chiltern Railways has become the first passenger rail operator to launch vegetable oil-powered trains on its network.
The operator is now powering its Class 68 locomotive-hauled trains with fuel derived from used cooking oils, tallows and other recyclable wastes in the place of conventional diesel.
This move will reduce the impact the trains have on the environment and will improve air quality across Chiltern Railways’ network.
Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% and air particulates by 85% when acting as a drop-in alternative to conventional diesel fuel.
Although it is more expensive than conventional diesel, Chiltern is switching to using HVO fuel as part of its plan to modernise and decarbonise its operations.
“We are determined to operate a railway that is easier, greener, and better for our customers. The conversion of a key part of our fleet of trains to HVO fuel will make a big difference in terms of emissions.
“We have listened to customers and stakeholders who rightly highlighted air quality as a key concern to us, and have taken action to minimise the impact on the environment that these trains have through cleaner, greener fuel.”
Chiltern’s Class 68 locomotives are used to haul Mark III coaches that provide high-capacity passenger services.
The company operates six of these locomotives, transporting a total of 25 coaches under the power of HVO fuel.
“Our HVO allows diesel train fleets across the railway network to enjoy a greener drop-in alternative instead of diesel. This is crucial when you think of the air quality issues when trains are in stations and built-up areas. GBF is already supplying HVO to the rail freight sector and is delighted to now be supplying passenger trains. Passengers, train and station staff can now enjoy much better air quality.”
Network Rail has commenced construction work to upgrade the infrastructure and enhance the passenger experience at Luton station.
Avanti West Coast has unveiled the new livery for its fleet of Class 805 trains, which are currently undergoing main line testing.
The Department for Transport has awarded a new National Rail Contract to Avanti West Coast and the West Coast Partnership Development.
Network Rail is investing 3.8 million GBP in carrying out repairs on the world's oldest viaduct in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.
HS2 has begun work on assembling the project's longest ‘green tunnel’ in Greatworth, West Northamptonshire.
TfWM has announced that passenger tram services on the West Midlands Metro extension in Wolverhampton will start on 17 September.
Derby City Council has announced that it is seeking talks with Alstom in response to expected job losses at its Derby factory.
Network Rail has announced that it is investing more than 1 million GBP in improving rail infrastructure around Glasgow, Scotland.
Throughout September and October, the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme will replace tracks in Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway have demonstrated that digital signalling on the Northern City Line is ready for passenger service.
There were two main topics of conversation at Rolling Stock Networking (RSN): Passenger Experience and Decarbonisation.
HS2's high-speed electric trains have become the first in the world to achieve BSI's PAS 2080 carbon reduction standard.
Northern has revealed before and after images of its 350,000 GBP transformation project at the Neville Hill depot in Leeds.
Network Rail will commence a major upgrade project on the River Devon Viaduct, which carries the railway over the River Trent in Newark.
Network Rail is set to switch on 116 newly installed digital signals in south west London and Berkshire from 19 August.
Hitachi Rail and Eversholt Rail have completed refurbishment work on the first of 29 Southeastern high-speed Javelin trains.
HS2's tunnel boring machines (TBMs), Florence and Cecilia have reached the Little Missenden shaft as they dig HS2’s longest tunnels.
Northern has released new dashcam footage to provide a first look at the upcoming Northumberland line connecting Newcastle to Ashington.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the first of its new Piccadilly Line trains have arrived in Germany for testing.
Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have signed a collaboration agreement to deliver upgrades and regeneration opportunities across Manches...
Transport for London (TfL) and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) have been fined following the Sandilands Tram derailment in November 2016.
Network Rail has signed a MoU with SBB to collaborate on deploying technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) on the railway.
Eurostar Group has rolled out a contactless, biometric check-in system to improve efficiency at London St Pancras Station.
After six years at the head of HS2 Ltd, CEO Mark Thurston has announced that he will leave the organisation this autumn.
The ORR has told the British rail industry that it needs to improve the reliability of passenger assistance for disabled passengers.
The University of Birmingham has been awarded £15m by the UKRPIF to establish a new railway research and innovation centre at Goole.
HS2 Ltd has begun the procurement process for the APM system that will run between Solihull's Interchange Station and Birmingham Airport.
Hitachi Rail has been awarded an eight-year contract to continue its maintenance of 19 intercity Class 802 trains – the Nova 1 fleet.
Train companies in England have launched a passenger consultation on plans to 'modernise' customer service across the rail network.
HS2 has announced that a second set of proposed changes to the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill has been introduced to Parliament.
Transport for London (TfL) has exercised an option to order an additional 11 new DLR trains from CAF to enter service by 2026.
As part of the East Coast Digital Programme, the Class 700 Thameslink fleet will be upgraded to the latest version of ETCS.
Transport for London (TfL) has submitted a Strategic Outline Case on the proposed extension of the DLR to Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside.
HS2 has released the first images of the tunnel boring machine that will dig Bromford Tunnel between North Warwickshire and Birmingham.
Network Rail has completed 16 days of major track upgrades in the Clay Cross and Milford tunnels in Derbyshire.
Northern has announced plans to equip up to 40 of its trains with data collection kits to improve predictive maintenance on the rail network.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally concluded that Hitachi’s acquisition of Thales GTS could reduce competition.
Nexus has contracted Furrer+Frey to renew Newcastle Metro's electrification equipment to help improve the system's reliability.
Construction is now underway on a new, 4-platform station at Cambridge Biomedical Campus as part of the UK's upcoming East-West Rail route.
Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract extension for the maintenance of 51 Class 185 trains operating in the north of England.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the preferred route alignment from Bedford to Cambridge for the new East West Rail line.
The first of Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Class 387 Great Northern Electrostar trains has completed static testing retrofitted with ETCS.
The UK government has announced a 72 million GBP package to help deliver more reliable trains in Manchester.
Dawlish Sea Wall is set to open to the public at 2pm on 25 May following an 80 million GBP investment to help protect the key railway line.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has appointed DB ESG to deliver the tram safety improvement programme for its Metrolink service.
LA Metro has announced that the Regional Connector light rail transit project will officially open to the public on 16 June.
HS2 workers have completed the first base slab concrete pour at the western end of Old Oak Common station, advancing progress on the key infrastructure project....
Network Rail has announced the next step in its plans to deliver digital signalling across the first section of the East Coast Main Line.
Network Rail has published its 44 billion GBP five-year plan to improve the railway in England and Wales throughout Control Period 7 (CP7).
The London boroughs have collaborated on a list of infrastructure projects that should be prioritised, including the Bakerloo line extension.
LNER, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail have signed an agreement to define how they will effectively collaborate over the next three decades.
ORR has written to Network Rail to express concerns about its backlog in examining the condition of railway structures.
LNER is introducing simpler and more flexible fares across its network as part of its mission to transform the UK's ticketing system.
Transport Secretary: Transpennine Express won't have its contract renewed. Instead, it will be brought into Operator of Last Resort.
Northern has upgraded its depot in Barrow-in-Furness to enable longer trains to operate between Cumbria and Manchester.
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has taken delivery of its first rail carriage, marking the start of a new partnership with Talgo.
Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the full peak Elizabeth line timetable will be introduced on Sunday 21 May 2023.
With Railtex taking place in Birmingham, we take a look at the history of Birmingham’s Curzon Street within the context of HS2.
Jonn Elledge on the absolute madness that is terminating HS2 at Old Oak Common rather than Euston for the foreseeable future.
Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) first Class 387/1 Electrostar train has been retrofitted with ETCS in-cab signalling.
Great Western Railway (GWR) and Eversholt Rail have extended their maintenance partnership with Hitachi Rail.
HS2 has received design approval for Small Dean Viaduct, which will take HS2 trains across the A413 and local rail lines.
Hitachi Rail will test the latest rail technologies, including battery systems and digital solutions at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has contracted Stadler to provide full service for up to 30 Class 99 bi-mode Co’Co locomotives.
The first Class 93 tri-mode locomotives for Rail Operations Group has completed testing at Stadler’s facility in Valencia, Spain.
The government has published its UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which includes a focus on improving mobile coverage for rail.
Skanska Costain STRABAG JV has launched HS2's third London tunnel boring machine (TBM), 'Lydia' to construct the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel.
Northern and the University of Sheffield have developed new ‘supersonic-cryogenic’ technology that can be fitted onto trains to clear leaves.
Midland Metro Alliance has commenced vehicle testing on the Wolverhampton City Centre Metro extension tram line. With testing and commissioning now underway ...
Northern has completed its 'digital train' programme following 183,000 hours of work and the installation of 725 kilometres of electric cable.
A tunnelling milestone for HS2: the tunnel boring machine Dorothy has broken through on the second bore of the Long Itchington Wood tunnel.
TfL has secured grant funding to help make the Therapia Lane London Trams depot in Croydon greener and more energy efficient.
The National Audit Office has released a report evaluating whether the DfT and HS2 Ltd can effectively manage the delivery of HS2 Euston.
Southeastern and Network Rail have announced a 4.4 million GBP project to deliver station improvements across Kent and south east London.
TfL has released its annual budget, revealing that it can now fully cover operational costs and invest in new and improved services.
Coventry Very Light Rail has completed construction on a new test site for its unique track system at Coventry City Council’s Whitley Depot.
The ORR has given authorisation for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to operate its Class 717 fleet with Level 2 ETCS digital signalling.
Rail industry leaders were brought together at Accelerate Rail to discuss the nation’s transition to Great British Railways.
UK: The government has announced that Derby, one of the six shortlisted locations, will be the headquarters for Great British Railways.
DB Cargo UK has collaborated with Group Technical Support and Toton TMD to test the impact of using HVO to power locomotives.
The Department for Transport has extended Avanti West Coast's contract for 6 months following the operator's improved performance.
Greater Manchester has announced a new devolution deal with the UK government to grant it more influence over regional rail services.
Train operator, Avanti West Coast has launched a low-cost Superfare 'standby' ticket for flexible travellers.
Over 40bn GBP will be invested in the UK's transport network over the next two years, with a focus on delivering the first phase of HS2.
The UK government is working with Network Rail and Northern Rail to restore regular train services to the Northumberland Line from 2024.
Research from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) reveals significant potential to electrify UK rail freight operations.
Transport for London (TfL) has appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure as the main delivery partner to enlarge the DLR's Beckton Depot.
The two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) digging HS2’s longest tunnels has passed Amersham shaft on their 10 mile drive under the Chilterns.
TfWM and the WMRE have announced plans to explore the feasibility for five new railway stations within the West Midlands.
Stadler has successfully delivered the first of 46 new Tyne and Wear Metro trains to Nexus' Gosforth Metro Depot in the North of England.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has visited the new ticket hall at Bank Underground station, which completes its 700 million GBP upgrade.
Network Rail has selected SNC-Lavalin Group to deliver signalling renewal projects across the south of England.
The East Coast Digital Programme has further progressed, thanks to new signalling in the Wood Green – New Barnet area of north London.
GWR is to buy several assets from Vivarail, securing the future of trials of fast-charge battery technology.
Engineers have begun work to alleviate a long-time bottleneck on the Hope Valley Railway line at Bamford as part of upgrade project.
HS2 has proposed changes to the construction design of its Manchester route following work with the UK Environment Agency.
Avanti West Coast has begun testing its new Hitachi fleet on the West Coast Main Line. The trains are due to enter service later this year.
Network Rail is refurbishing the Chepstow Viaduct bridge over the river Wye to ensure the longevity of the Severn Estuary railway line.
New plans have been put forward to improve access to the proposed HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail station at Manchester Airport.
Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.